The Names of God: Adonai

This post is part of the series The Names of God.

Psalm 8:1–9 (ESV)
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 begins and ends with the words “O LORD, our Lord.” You may have noticed that the first LORD is all capital letters while the second is not. Why is that? There is a reason for the all-capital letter LORD, but we will get to that in another post. For now, I want to concentrate on the second instance of Lord. The Hebrew word behind this word is adonai. We also find Lord in the New Testament translated from the Greek word kyrios.

Lord is actually a title and not a name. It means “master”. It signifies that God is our supreme authority. We are his and he rules over us. As our Lord, we serve God and seek to obey him and live our lives to please him. The wonderful thing about our Lord is that he is good and loving and kind. In fact, he is a Lord who serves his people. Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for us so that we could be saved.

The hymn Amazing Love reflects on this truth with these words:

My Lord, what love is this
That pays so dearly
That I, the guilty one
May go free!

What an amazing Lord we serve!


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