Word Nerd Wednesday – Adonai

I’m thrilled to have Ellen back for this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday post as she discusses what the name Adonai means for us!

I readily admit to being a Bible geek. But I must confess, I’m also a Word Nerd. And I’m honored today to be posting over at my friend Liz’s lovely online home: My Messy Desk. Won’t you join me there? 

Today’s Name is Adonai

The word Adonai is the Hebrew noun meaning Lord. It is used in the sense of authority, versus ownership. Most frequently it is used to refer to a human master, but it can also be used of divinity. When used in this sense, it often occurs with Yahweh, signifying God’s sovereignty. 

We see in Exodus 4:10-13, that Moses is struggling with going to the Hebrew people and telling them God sent him. 

“Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 

Exodus 4:10 NASB

Verse 10 could be rendered: 

Moses said to Yahweh (God’s name) “Please Adonai (God is sovereign), I’m not a great speaker.” 

Moses knows  intellectually that God has the power and right to give orders, make decisions and enforce obedience. However, Moses has dealt with these fickle Hebrews before. He knows what they are like, and that they will question his authority. Moses is also unsure of himself, and doesn’t speak eloquently. Ah, Moses, I so identify with you!

In his humanity, his flesh, Moses knew he could not properly represent God. In verse eleven, the Lord firmly reminds Moses that HE is the one who made man’s mouth; HE is the one who determines a man’s ability; HE is creator and owner over all.

Recognizing Adonai

Let’s dissect Moses’ response, shall we?

But he said, “Please, Lord (Adonai), now send the message by whomever You will.” 

Exodus 4:13 NASB,  parentheses mine.

This may have been a turning point for Moses. I believe that in his heart, Moses now understands God is sovereign over all things and every circumstance. He surrenders to God’s plan. Comparing Moses response from other translations, we can imagine Moses must be thinking “God, You have all authority. Send whomever You wish. But Lord, please don’t let it be me! Send anyone else but me!”

What does this all mean for us today? Well, let’s see. 

Moses said “Yes” to God’s sovereignty in his life. At the same time, he readily admitted he’d rather not do God’s will. He was honest before God. 

You know what God did? He allowed Aaron to speak for Moses (Exodus 4:14). God heard the cry of Moses, and didn’t make him do the talking. However, this was only AFTER Moses recognized God as Adonai. 

What Others Say About Adonai

In Tony Evans’ The Power of God’s Names, he says this: 

Submission is a powerful tool when coupled with an All-powerful Adonai God. Unfortunately, too many Christians today have settled for Jehovah without experiencing the full power of Adonai. This is because to experience all that God as ruler, master and owner over your life can do for you, you have to knowingly, willingly surrender before Him. That means He gets to call the shots. He gets to have the final say in your decisions. His perspective is the perspective you utilize in making your choices, and in how you use your time.

Too many people want God to do what His Word says He can do without giving Him the right to own them. God is not going to give you more of Jehovah (He is not going to continue to reveal Himself and His ways to you) if you are not willing to confess more of Him as Adonai. If you are not willing to surrender ownership over your time, thoughts, talents and treasures to Him then the information flow stops. It ceases, lessens … it becomes more like a drip rather than a full force of Him fulfilling His Word in your life. Surrender to God and honor Him as Adonai and watch the heavens overflow with His plan for your life.

Tony Evans

God loves us, cares for us and promises never to leave us. He is the creator of the universe. He knows us inside and out. When He is Lord and Master of our lives, when we give Him all authority over our lives, He will provide.

Will you cry out to God as Adonai? What difference would it make it your life? @EllenChauvin #wordnerdwednesday #adonai @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

Meet Ellen

Ellen Chauvin

Ellen pens her stories from the Bayou Country of South Louisiana, where gumbo and crawfish reign and majestic oaks provide shade for weary sojourners. When not writing and digging into God’s Word, you can find Ellen digging in her flower beds, relaxing on the back porch, hanging out with her grandkids, or traveling with her husband John.

Ellen has loved writing since high school, but this passion lay dormant for many decades. When her mom passed away in 2011, Ellen felt the Lord urging her to write her stories, stories that help her see His story of faithfulness being written in her life.

Ellen has a heartfelt desire to see women dig into God’s Word and thirst after Him with all their hearts. She is passionate about scripture and shares the truths she finds at Ellen Chauvin (dot) com. Ellen encourages her readers to soak in God’s Word and sprout seeds of faith.

She has contributed to Deeper Waters, Word Nerd Wednesday, The Laundry Moms, Sweet to the Soul, The Consilium and The Message, a study magazine published annually by the women’s department of WEGOM, a non denominational evangelistic organization in Nigeria.

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Word Nerd Wednesday Names for God Adonai

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