Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!
As we continue our series called the “Remember” series, in which we remember what God has done for us in the past that we may have strength for the present and hope for the future, today we turn to Genesis chapter 15 to learn another Hebrew name of God, Adonai, translated Lord, or Master.
If you will recall, God called Abram in Genesis 12 to leave his country, his people, and his home to go to a land God would show him. Abram took this journey of faith. God promised to give Abram a land, a great name, and descendants too numerous to count, like the sand on the seashore. In Genesis 14, Abram refused the wealth of Sodom in favor of El Elyon, the Most High God, who was Abram’s reward. But in Genesis 15, Abram is old, as is his wife Sarai, and they still have no children. Listen to…
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
The word translated here as ‘Lord God’ is ‘Adonai’, which is first used in this text, but appears 434 times in the Old Testament. It means Lord or Master. Abram refers to God as his Lord and Master immediately after God declared that he was Abram’s shield. That is, God is the one who protected Abram, who protected him when he went against the five wicked kings in the previous chapter, who protected him in Egypt from Pharaoh, and who protected him from the Canaanites, famine, and all other dangers. Abram refused to become the Lord and Master of 9 regional kings in chapter 14, but now he relates to God as His Lord and Master.
This relationship was typical in the Ancient Near East, one great king would conquer lesser kings and they would enter into a covenant. The greater king required tributes from the lesser king in exchange for protection. Here God declares that He is the protector of Abram, who in return declares that God is His Lord and Master. Yet there is one great difference. God enters into relationship with Abram to bless him, unlike most greater kings in their day. God declared to Abram that his reward would be very great.
Abram referred to God as His Lord and Master. He submitted himself to God to obey Him in all things, no matter what. Then he submitted his concern to his Lord, he was childless. He could not understand how God’s promise of a great nation would come to pass when he and his wife were too old to have children.
God replied with this assurance, that his own son would be his heir, after which he reaffirmed his promise that Abram’s descendants would be more numerous than the stars of the sky. The promised blessings of God came to Abram only after Abram submitted to the Lordship of Adonai.
God is our Adonai, our Lord and our Master. As such, he is also our Great Shield. In Him we find refuge. A good master and lord protects and provides for those under their rule, and God is the greatest Lord and Master. There is no better!
What has God promised to those who submit to His Lordship? We find in Romans 10:9 that all who publicly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and who believe that God raised Him from the dead are saved. That is, their sins are washed away, they are adopted as children of God, they are made heirs to the Kingdom of God, and they are granted abundant and eternal life!
When we face trials in this life, let us remember who our true Lord and Master really is, that God alone is our provider and protector, that His Word is our only rule for faith and for life, and that in Him we have abundant and eternal life!