The name Adonai (Adonay) is found over four hundred times in the Bible, and its’ meaning is revelatory in nature. The name comes from the singular word Adon, which translates as “master” or “ruler.” It contains the concepts of “dominion,” “rulership,” and “ownership.”
The cultural background to the word Adon is associated with humanity and deals with masters who owned slaves. Yet it didn’t merely connote ownership, it also bore within the name a certain responsibility for the care and well-being of that which was owned. The master was to provide for, protect, guide and maximize that which he owned.
Thus when God is referred to in Scripture as the plural form Adonai, He is referenced as Owner. The psalmist pens in chapter 97 that God is, “the (Adonai) of the whole earth.” He is not only the Creator (Elohim), but He is also the Owner (Adonai). God reveals this ownership through His Word, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10)
Since God is the absolute ruler and owner, our response to this name comes through the surrender of submission. 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.
Excerpted from The Power of God’s Names, Dr. Tony Evans, Harvest House Publishers (2014)
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