July 5, 2021

Hallowed Be Thy Name

You shall not make wrongful use of the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his Name.

Exodus 20:7
Unlike all their neighbors, the ancient Hebrews were not allowed to have statues or images of their God. All they had was a Name. One of the commandments given to Moses on the mountain was that Israel was never to misuse this Name.

The Heidelberg Catechism says that the aim of this commandment is 

that we neither blaspheme nor misuse the Name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders. In summary, we should use the holy Name of God only with reverence and awe, so that we may properly confess God, pray to God, and glorify God in all our words and works.

Of the Ten Commandments, this is one that seems to have lost much of its value in the modern world. People often make exclamations—even curses—using God's Name, and those around them seldom bat an eye. But does broad acceptance excuse us if we take part in this new way of speaking?

If we ever pray the Lord's Prayer, then the answer is a deafening No. While there's no doubt that Jesus obeyed and taught each of the Ten Commandments, the one he built into the prayer he taught us was the Third Commandment—the one about keeping God's Name holy. When we pray, "Hallowed be thy Name," we are asking for God's help in honoring the Name of God—as well as remembering all that God means to us. To use this Name as though it has no meaning is to make a mockery of the very prayer we repeat on a daily or weekly basis.

When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your Name. 
 Luke 11:2
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me to honor your Name, O Lord, in my thoughts, in my speech, and in my actions.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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2 comments:

  1. Guilty as charged! Will try to use other words when frustrated!

    ReplyDelete