Adonai- Master, Lord and friend
My husband loves UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Apparently, pulverizing your opponent in the middle of a cage is a sport. When the match starts, I have to close my eyes, plug my ears and eventually leave the room. In an effort to include me in his interests, Rich took to educating me on the finer points of said sport. Being the supporting spouse that I am, I took out a notepad, pen, and a new attitude. (Not really) But, I did pay attention and tried to learn.
WHAT DID I LEARN?
The “great ones” have a devoted master- coach who become their everything.
The relationship between athlete and master is trusting and reverent.
The master is 100 percent all-in on every front.
The student learns from the master.
The master becomes the student’s-lord.
The lord becomes the student’s friend.
Think Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi or Rocky and Mick. Or Mary Lou Retton and that big teddy bear Romanian guy.
In Just Let Them Love You, the characters travel to Hebron to research one of the names of God. More importantly, the characters teach us why referring to God as the word Adonai can be so empowering.
Adonai: Master-Lord-and friend
In Genesis 15, Adonai first presents Himself, the God of Israel, to Abraham. On God’s command, Abraham had been on a long and dusty faith-walk with his wife, Sara, and a whole slew of two-and-four-legged companions. Tired, Abe was kicking back, chilling and having a much-needed rest when God shows up for a pep talk and long-range vision casting session against the night’s sky.
There was something about the presence of Adonai that allowed Abraham to rest, to bend his knee out of desire and not coercion. Abraham wasn't perfect by any stretch. Yet, he still seemed to know Adonai was in his corner, wiping his brow, squirting some water in the side of his mouth and propping him up so he could see the Master’s vision fulfilled.
Adonia- is the plural form of the Hebrew word, Adon- meaning lord and master.
In Genesis 15 when Abraham addresses God, he takes the name (Adon) to the plural form (Adonia)-meaning Lord of Lords. It was purposeful.
ABRAHAM WAS MAKING IT CLEAR. GOD IS THE LORD OF EVERYTHING!
Having the benefit of so many years hence, thousands of commentaries at our fingertips, and centuries of brilliant scholarly works at the ready, we might miss the importance of this encounter between Abraham and God (Adonia).
For Abraham, a new story was unfolding with his descendants at its core. A first. Fresh. It was intimate. Familial. Friendly. Exciting, and oh so anticipatory. God (Adonai) came to Abe’s tent to deliver the news personally. Adonai was laying out the plan for redemption. He was assigning the players, inserting some hope and promise in DNA, and assuring Abraham with His very presence that He could and would be a trusted Master every step of the way.
Can you imagine having that kind of one-on-one meeting? Let’s try!
It’s the end of a long work day. All your training, planning and perseverance has allowed you to accomplish a lot. You have been faithful in your responsibilities. Or, you have diligently tended to your home and children, still, there is this persistent pull on your soul. It’s been there for as long as you can remember. A desire, a hope or dream. Perhaps it’s even a new call of God on your life, a freshly formed seed germinating just under the surface.
You are propped up in your bed, sipping on herbal-ginger-peach tea and reading a novel. You struggle to keep your eyelids raised. Giving into the need for sleep, you snap the book shut, switch off the light, and snuggle under the covers while you position the pillow just so under your head. The window frames a most brilliant galaxy. The night’s sky blinks and shimmers, the big dipper miraculously holds its place card. Your breathing shallows as you relax before drifting off.
Then quietly, He enters. The mattress leans and the blankets tug a bit as He sits on the side of your bed. A sudden, sweet breeze blows through the opened window stirring you back to a fully conscious state.
He smiles and points to the stars. He reminds you how they were placed. “Ah, yes,” you say, remembering who fashioned the planets and balls of fire with His word and very hands. It’s peaceful and assuring, the moment, with the Lord who is over all. You switch on the light, prop up some pillows, and look forward to a long chat.
The conversation is peppered with questions that are returned with a thoughtful response. “Yes, most certainly, honor the Master, for there is no other way.”
You might ask, “What can I expect from the Master if I agree?”
Again, He smiles. Your belly flutters with nervous awe. You aren’t afraid, although completely aware you are in the presence of majesty. Enveloped in embrace, not physical, but felt. Your heart responds before He answers. How could it not? The longing of the Master is almost irresistible.
His reply soaks into your thoughts.
A mutual respect of a well-planned timeline, yet room for a spontaneous ebb and flow of creative ideas and strategies. A well-written Masters course to follow, and a key to the penthouse suite. Band-aids and tourniquets, road maps and panoramic views. Love songs and poems, secrets and promises. Pushes and nudges, sometimes annoying rebuffs. Friends and family, fun and games. Building projections, governmental meetings in high places, warfare and prayer assignments. High-level training to win the fight.
But most gracious of all, there is a clear and welcomed understanding of who is boss. There is safety in the Master; the Lord of Hosts. In the Master, you find your home. In the Master, you find love. There is a guarantee that- as the stars-so are you. Held fast, placed intentionally, loved eternally.