The Names of God: Adonai

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 1, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

I have spent the last three weeks alerting you to 18 different false Jesuses out there in American culture. Now it is time to start examining the real Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Eric Ludy has two powerful resources on who Jesus is. In this sermon, Ludy details how Jesus is the fulfillment of countless prophecies and even how the history of Israel gave snapshots of what kind of life He would live. Then for something much shorter, Ludy uses his church’s vocal talents to read off an extensive list of the names of God found throughout the Bible. Even then, I found that list to be inexhaustive, but good nonetheless.

Rather than piggy-back on what Ludy did, I want to look at the names of God. Because man is a finite being, unable to comprehend the infinite, we have images and pictures that describe who God is and what He is like. These images and pictures come nowhere close to giving His name justice, but they give us insight to know God as He has revealed Himself. A few years ago, I did a 13-post series on the attributes of God (here). It was not comprehensive, but it gave a good clear image that God is much more than most of us think Him to be. The same will be true in this series on the names of God. While at it, I would like to give a shout-out to reader Janette Eastman who specifically requested that we at Worldview Warriors do a series on this topic. So Janette, this series is for you. Everyone else gets to listen in. The first name I will address is “Adonai.”

Adonai is the Hebrew for “Lord” or “King.” God is not merely a king, but the king. In our culture of a constitutional republic, it is hard for us to understand the authority structure of a monarchy. In a monarchy, the king is the sole decider of all things. He is legislative, executive, and judicial branches all in one. There is no authority over him and what he says goes. While he may turn to advisors and while he may subject himself to a standard of law (think the Magna Carta), the king still has the ultimate authority.

Israel had kings rule over them for about 400 years. When God allowed Samuel to install a king (by demand of the people), He still reigned in the authority of the king’s position. The king was to be submissive to the prophets of God, and nearly every king (if not all of them) in the Bible had at least one prophet to deal with. The king was to make a hand-written copy of the Law for his own possession. That would ensure he knew God’s requirements (though from the accounts, this command was poorly enforced). Nearly all the kings of Israel did not turn out so well. I can only think of one king of all of them who did not have an explicit sin or bad moniker follow their names: Josiah. All the others one who were deemed good still had a major flaw.

But we have a King who is completely perfect, never makes a questionable decision, never leads anyone in the wrong path, always does what is best for His kingdom, and has complete dominion and sovereignty over everything. God is the ruler over this universe and He does what He wants to do as He pleases. However, God’s rule is not arbitrary. He does not decide anything on a whim. He always acts in accordance to His perfect character.

The Psalmist asked why the nations rage when the King is on his throne. It’s a legitimate question. The nations all strive to battle against God and defy His rule, and exactly what do they hope to accomplish? Freedom from God’s hands? That’s actually their thinking. “Let us break their bonds in pieces” (Psalm 2:3). They see God’s rule as oppressive and enslaving because His laws will not allow anyone to sin however he wants without consequence.

Many people do not like the idea that God is King because that means He makes all the calls and the shots. They would rather just have Him as a friend and a buddy who can save them out of trouble but not actually have command over their lives. Yet, God’s protection does not come without His rule. When Isaiah prophesied over Jesus’ arrival, he said there would be no end to the increase of His government and peace. Here, we see peace and government interlinked. There has never been a peaceful situation without a good government bringing it about and enforcing it. The greatest freedoms flow out of an organized structure; just ask any teacher or manager.

God’s rule does two major things: it grants us the freedom and authority to do what needs to be done and it limits, controls, and will eventually bring justice upon the wicked. Because God is sovereign and the King over all, the enemy can only do that which he has permission to do. He is not given free reign over us and even when he is given free reign (like with Peter or Job), he is limited in what he can do and how long he can do it.

If God is the King, what do we have to fear? Satan cannot touch us without permission and if he tries, he will have to deal with God for doing so as well. The kings of this world, all the experts, the mobs, the media, all of them can do nothing except that which God has allowed. As long as we are obedient to Him, we cannot be touched no matter what kind of bluster and boasting and noise they make. It’s all noise anyway. It’s mostly bark and the only bite they have is what God lets them have. And when He allows the enemy to bite, it is only for our benefit or for His kingdom’s benefit.

God is Adonai, the Lord and the King. He is ruler over all. His rule is everlasting. It will never cease and he will never step down. As I conclude this post and start working on the rest of this series on the subtitle of Jehovah, listen to this sermon excerpt from S.M. Lockridge: “That’s My King.

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