This week in our Drawing Near classes, we will be looking at the name Adonai. There are so many names for God, similar to a diamond with many facets, and all together creating a magnificent stone.
The name Adonai give us a picture of God’s sovereignty as the One who is perfect in every way and worthy to be honored and praised. This name clearly offers us a peek into what it means to surrender to the One who cares for us, protects us, and offers us peace and hope. He is not a harsh taskmaster, but a loving Father; One to whom we gladly surrender.
Adonai is a Hebrew word that translates “Lord” from its derivation of sovereignty. When David (I Samuel 24) has a chance to take the life of Saul, who is trying to kill him, he chooses to spare Saul. He refers to Saul as “My Lord”, which in its root form is similar to Adonai. David knew he was under the authority of King Saul and as a result he chose to spare Saul’s life.
In so many ways in our culture today, the word submission can be misinterpreted. We are fiercely independent and anything that smacks of submission is off limits. I want to re-frame this for you and help you see that it is not submission in the way in which we think about human relationships. God in His mercy, goodness, and faithfulness, cares for us and wants the very best for us. When we surrender to Him, we are surrendering to His goodness and love. If we have had bad experiences with people in authority over us, it clouds our lenses. So let’s dig a little deeper into what it looks like to submit to Adonai, our Lord.
When I was a young woman with three small children and living in another country, I struggled to find my identity. I was lonely, didn’t know the language, and my husband was not home very much with his job. I met Adonai on a walk one day with my baby. I was whining and complaining about my loneliness when God whispered to my heart…. “Joanne, if you will trust me and surrender, allowing me to lead, I will show you my faithfulness.” I had been resisting God; even mad at Him. So I thought. Why not? I don’t have any better ideas.
Friends, this was a game changer for me! I exchanged my sadness, loneliness, and anger with joy and peace. This was a gradual process that resulted from me choosing to come under the authority of Adonai. Step by step, I saw His goodness everywhere. His Sovereign hand on my life was found in the amazing people that I met and the beauty of where I was. I fully entered into a relationship with God at another level; one choosing for Him to lead as my Master, and me as His beloved.
In the days of the Old Testament, slaves were freed every 7 years. If they chose to stay with their masters they were given a new type of freedom under the care of a master who provided for them. They had their ears pierced and were known as bondslaves. That day in Germany, I chose to be a bondslave to Adonai. Today the word bondslave is ladened with negative connotations. But this was a surrender to the One who loves me unconditionally and opened my eyes to the beauty of surrender and the care of a tender merciful God.
What about you? Have you surrendered to the Sovereignty of Adonai?