May 13, 2014

Adonai: "Lord, Master, Owner"

Genesis 15:1-6

Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
—Genesis 15:2


Calling Abram to leave his homeland, God promised to make him a great nation (Genesis 12:1-2). Awhile later, God prom-ised to make Abram’s offspring “like the dust of the earth,” so many that they could not be counted (13:16). But now years had passed, and Abram still had no offspring.

After Abraham met Melchizedek at Salem (see Genesis 14), God appeared to Abram in a vision. This time, before God made a promise, Abram raised the point that he needed off-spring to be a great nation. He doesn’t do this in a cheeky way. He addresses God with utmost respect as Adonai Yahweh, “Sovereign LORD.”

Here the Bible combines Yahweh with the Hebrew Adonai, from the noun adon, meaning “Lord, master, owner.” Abram recognizes that God is his “Sovereign,” and although he doesn’t understand God’s plan, Abram shows that he trusts Adonai will keep his promise to make him a great nation.

Just a bit later, when God promises to make his offspring as numerous as the stars of the heavens, we read that Abram be-lieves. Seeing Abram’s wholehearted trust, God credits it “to him as righteousness.”

If you know God is King of the universe, do you truly trust him with your life? What can you do today to show faith in your Sovereign Lord?

Sovereign Lord, so often we fail to understand your ways. Help us to bow before you and to trust you completely, our Lord and Master. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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