“Let’s Hallow His Name”
In this series our focus is the seven points of the Lord’s Prayer. Last time we introduced the biblical concept that God, His nature and His name are so intertwined that to misuse any of the names of God is to dishonor God Himself.
In the 3rd Commandment (Exodus 20) and the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6) we are taught to acknowledge the holiness, sacredness and reality of God by properly honoring His name or names. It is careless, thoughtless and degrading to use any words such as God, Jesus, Christ, God damn, etc., in vulgarity, anger or meaningless expression. Frequently you will hear well-meaning people say “Oh God!” when they are surprised or upset. Although commonly done, this is habit is careless, unnecessary and needs attention!
To pray the first point of the Lord’s prayer is to invoke in your personal life, and that of your family, and of those around you and -- in fact – the whole society, the same holy attitude toward God that already exists in heaven. “Hallowed (i.e., holy) be Your Name … on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Hebrew Scriptures show that from the beginning of time, God’s people had a sacred attitude about how they named their children and addressed their God. God’s names and people’s names were mighty important! God even changed people’s names to give prophetic significance to their lives, as renaming Abram Abraham. “Jesus,” with its meaning of salvation and saving Grace, is a name which holds great significance to Christians. Fall in love with God, the Bible and Jesus and your conversation will quickly reflect this attitude.
Actually, words like God, Almighty, Savior, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, etc., are not personal names (or “the” name of God), but rather are titles or descriptions. For instance, God once said His name was Jealous ( Gen 34:14), a way of spotlighting one of His important attributes often ignored.
It might be well to give a short Bible study on the name of God as it first appeared in history when God commissioned Moses to go to Egypt and deliver His people from bondage.
The story is quite famous and has been glamorized by the movie rendition in The Ten Commandments. Actually, there are some glaring differences between Hollywood’s rendition of the Exodus and the biblical account. Our focus will be on the amazing revelation of the divine name that God gave to Moses.
The story of God’s appearance to Moses and God’s call of leadership to Moses is given in Exodus chapter 3. Moses was shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep at the base of Mt. Sinai. Suddenly, he was arrested by the sight of a bush burning with intense fire – but not being consumed! A soul-shaking voice sounded from the fire: “I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Falling to the ground, Moses removed his sandals, hiding his face!
Next blog: What Kind of a Name Is That? (It appears 8,283 times in the OT)