Say, for example, Corrie Ten Boom? Do you think of her as a Dutch watch maker? A Christian? A safe harbor for the persecuted? A concentration camp prisoner?
How about the name, Adolf Hitler? Nazi Party? Holocaust? Overwhelming devastation?
A name is more than what someone is called. When we hear a name it tends to evoke some level of response. We think of the person behind the name. It represents who they are. If we offer reverence to a name, we offer reverence to that person. If we offer contempt to a name, we offer contempt to that person. And so on it goes.
In Luke 11:2[a] we see Jesus’ responding to the disciples on how to pray and His first petition is, “Hallowed be your name”. He is providing instruction on what He wants our priorities to be, not only in prayer, but in life.
How often do we recite “Hallowed be your name” or speak the name of God without any reverence to Whom we are speaking of? Has it become religious routine? Or mindless rote? The name of God represents His character and Who He is. It stands for His attributes and His nature. Jesus exhorts us to hallow the name of God. Hallow in the Greek is “hagiazo”. It is translated as “holy” or “sanctified”. We are to revere Him as holy and set apart.
God commanded, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” Exodus 20:7[a]. However, in today’s society this is willfully disregarded. It is a foreign concept. We toss God’s name around as a slur. We use it as an expletive without the slightest flinch. Perhaps the most insidious is when God’s name is used for an exclamation of surprise or disgust. It has become vastly acceptable to use this exclamation in its abbreviated form without pause. The ways in which we profane the name of God are endless.
Exodus 20:7[b] says, “for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Jewish people feared misusing the Lord’s name and actually referred to Him as, the Name. (Leviticus 24:15-16) Albeit ceremonial, they grasped the sacredness of His name. They dealt with it by not speaking the name of God or in Greek, the Tetragrammaton, meaning the four letter name of God known as, “YHWH”. The Jewish people realized the holiness of the name of God but they did not know the God behind the name.
Professing Christians are not mere spectators when it comes to profaning the name of God. Whether in word or deed, we too, fall short when it comes to reverencing the name of God. (Romans 3:21-26)
We must be aware that the world is watching our witness. We need to be mindful of reflecting the holiness of our God we serve in both words and deeds. (1 Peter 3:15) Hallowing the name of God starts with us. We need to press into our relationship with our Lord and allow Him to reveal any irreverence in our hearts towards Him. (Psalm 139:23-24)
“It’s alarming to observe the way in which we tend to use the name of God. We obviously do not realize that we are talking about the ever-blessed, eternal and absolute, almighty God. There is a sense in which we should take our shoes off our feet whenever we use the name.” D. Martyn Lloyd- Jones
“The day will come when some of the other petitions in the Lord’s Prayer shall be useless and out of date, as we shall not need to pray in heaven, “Give us our daily bread,” because there shall be no hunger; nor, “Forgive us our trespasses,” because there shall be no sin; nor, “Lead us not into temptation,” because the old serpent is not there to tempt.
Yet the hallowing of God’s name will be of great use and request in heaven; we shall be ever singing hallelujahs, which is nothing else but the hallowing of God’s name.” Thomas Watson
Be encouraged as you hallow the name of God. For each time you hallow the name of God, you strike a fire lantern into the pervading darkness. (Matthew 5:14-16)
For further study please consider the following: