My Good Master.
My last couple of journal entries focused on what God is teaching me. This one focuses on who He is. I cannot serve a God that I do not know. I’m sure that is one of the reasons A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” How we view God and his character determines how we relate to him. Therefore, we must get to know who he is, not who we perceive him to be.
Names are important. A name should be fitting and should outline the qualities a person possesses. Josh and I enjoy thinking of names for current and future children. It is fun to dream of the person they will become and chose a name that reflects that vision. I will do future entries on how we chose our daughters’ names. Just like our daughters’ names have special meanings, God’s names do too. Each of his many names reflects an aspect of His character, so to study his names is to study his character. That is why several years ago I did Mary Kassian’s study, Knowing God by Name. It was incredible and taught me so much about the Lord. Most of my information for this post comes from that study.
The Hebrew name Adonai translates “Lord”, and is used over 300 times in the Old Testament. Adon was a name that signified a position of authority and respect. For example, a child would call a parent “Adon”, or a citizen would refer to the king as “Adon”. Adonai is the plural and possessive form of Adon, and it means “my masters”. This does not mean that God is many masters. He is one master. The possessive is meant to add emphasis highlighting the fact that he is the master of all masters, or Lord of Lords. THE Lord’s authority will always supersede anyone else’s. The possessiveness of Adonai is key. He is not “the masters”, he is “MY masters”. When I call him Adonai I recognize his lordship over my life. I subject myself to his commands and his plan for me.
Being subject to authority is not a popular concept in our society. People do not like being told what they can and cannot do. Riots have broken out and lives have been taken as a result. People certainly buck at the idea of being a servant, but if God is our master that makes us his servants. Servants are at the beck and call of their masters. In fact, their very purpose is to do the will of their master. Similarly, as believers, our purpose is to do the will of God. For me and my family, that means moving around the world to share Jesus with the precious people in a third-world country. For you, it may mean being faithful to look outside of yourself and share the gospel with the person in the cubicle beside you. Whatever your master is asking you to do, do it. It is your purpose in life.
God does not ask us to serve a ruthless master. Mary Kassian explains the master servant relationship this way.
“The Bible teaches that the relationship between a master and servant begins with the master. Jewish servants were considered members of their masters’ household; their masters extended them both protections and privilege. Masters were responsible for meeting their servants needs: food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities. Masters also provided training, instruction, guidance, and accountability for the work of their servants. They promoted faithful servants to positions of great responsibility (Matt. 24:45).”
God is a master who cares for his servants. He takes on our needs as his responsibility. He doesn’t give us a task and then callously bark, “Go do it.” He trains us, walks us through each step and keeps us on track. He gives those who have proven faithful further responsibility, widening their circle of influence. Being a servant of Adonai is a privilege. It is a promise that you will always be cared for and guided. Yes, this privilege comes with great responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. We are responsible for carrying out the will of our Adonai, wherever that may take us.