Week 3: Adonai & Jehovah

Vitality Series

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Thank you for joining us for week 3 of our study on the names of God —LORD, I Want to Know You.  This week we will cover two names of God. Download the Note Taking Guide for the lesson.

Assignment: Read chapters 6 and 7. Complete the questions found on pages 43-54 and 57. Alternate study handout is available to download at the end of this post.


Our Names of God this Week: Adonai —Lord, Master and Jehovah —LORD God.

Adonai means Lord, Master. Lord is more than a word; it indicates a relationship. The lordship of God means His total possession of me and my total submission to Him as Lord and Master.

Adonai, Lord, is first used in Genesis 15:2. Having known victory over his enemies and having understood that El Elyon, the sovereign God, brought about the victory, Abraham acknowledges God’s lordship over him. This is the first such recorded instance in the Bible. In Genesis 14:22 Abraham referred to God as Lord (Jehovah), God Most High (El Elyon). But not until Genesis 15:2 does Abraham address God as his master when he says, “O Lord [Adonai] GOD [Jehovah].”

In Isaiah 6, when Isaiah saw God upon His throne, he saw Him as Adonai.

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. —Isaiah 6:1

He referred again to Him as Adonai when in verse 8 he said he “heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ ” Here the Master, Adonai, is looking for the obedient servant who will say, “Lord, Lord” and do His will.

Just as the train of his robe fills the temple so His presence is to permeate and fill every part of my life.

From our study book, Kay Arthur poses these questions to keep in mind as you work through the homework for the name Adonai:

“Keep these questions before you today: Can a person really be saved and deny God’s lordship over his life? Can you call Him “Lord,” refuse to do the things He tells you to do, and still go to heaven?”

Jehovah, LORD God, means to be, to exist, the self-existent one, all sufficient one. 

(Note: Jehovah is also translated into English as Yahweh. They are the same Hebrew word in the original language and can be used interchangeably.)

The name of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word, havah, which means to be, to become. Therefore, Jehovah speaks to God’s being or essence. Jehovah translates “He who is”. He subsists in a manner superior to all other beings. He is the self-existent, all sufficient One. He is the One who was, who IS and who will be. It is God’s most holy name. It is His covenant name.

His name Jehovah, LORD, is often compounded with another word to describe the character of the Lord in greater detail.  For example, Jehovah-Jireh in Genesis 22:14, the LORD who provides or in Exodus 17:15, Jehovah-Nissi, the LORD is my banner. We will study some of these names in further detail in the coming weeks.

In this week’s study you will explore His name Jehovah, LORD, as His covenant name. But keep in mind that it is also His forever name. What does this mean? This is huge for us to remember. As His forever name, Jehovah is the name that denotes the One who makes himself known unceasingly for eternity! God promises His continuing presence. God desires to make himself known to us constantly. This is because we were created for His presence and His glory. We were created for fellowship with Him. And remember every one of God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, I AM. (Make a note to study through the book of John and the I AM names of Christ at some point.)

Walking in His Names — Adonai and Jehovah:

As I consider these names of God, Adonai and Jehovah, Master and LORD God —”I AM that I AM”, the great I AM —I can’t help but think how often I walk through life as the lord and master.  I walk through life, focused not on the great I AM, but on myself—”I am”.

“I am”…think about this phrase for a moment.  How often do you consciously or subconsciously think, “I am…”

Stop for a moment and make a list of whatever comes to mind, whatever you’re thinking or feeling in THIS moment about yourself, “I am…”

  • I am tired.
  • I am hungry.
  • I am thirsty.
  • I am cold.
  • I am hot.
  • I am frustrated.
  • I am bored.
  • I am mad.
  • I am sad.
  • I’m hormonal.
  • I am unappreciated.
  • I am happy.
  • I am excited.
  • I am a daughter.
  • I am a wife.
  • I am a mother.
  • I am busy.

I think you get the point.  Sometimes I get so focused on myself, “I am”, that I fail to recognize the great I AM. I fail to remember that as the LORD God, Jehovah, the great I AM —He IS!

So often I need to know that! I need to know that He IS in this moment. That He IS sovereign. That He IS all-powerful. That He IS unfailing love and so much more. There is great comfort for me in knowing God IS present in my every moment.

He meets me right where I am, regardless of where I find myself!  Only HE can meet my deepest needs. Only HE knows my deepest hurts and disappointments. Only HE can satisfy my desires and longings. Only HE can give me the peace, joy, purpose and contentment that I seek in life. Only HE because HE IS, Jehovah, the great I AM. The one who WAS, who IS and who IS to COME!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.—Psalm 46:1

Therefore, HE is to be the object and focus of my worship, because He alone is worthy. And when I focus on the greatness of the LORD God, the great I AM, my preoccupation with self diminishes. And my only possible response to this revelation…worship, praise.

Praise is a confession in the sense of a declaration. Deuteronomy 10:21 tells us that praise is to center on God emphasizing: WHO God is…“He is your praise and He is your God” and WHAT He has done …“who had done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen”. —Myrna Alexander, Behold Your God

Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him. —Psalm 68:4

As we close today, take a moment to listen to these songs that speaks of Jehovah, LORD God, our great I AM…and worship Him!

(This week, two names…two songs, Great I AM and Worship The Great I AM)

I hope you’ll share what you’re learning and encourage others by leaving a comment below. Have a great week in God’s Word!


Download the Alternate Study Guide and Homework.