(This is the second part of The Model Prayer series.)
Other versions of the above verse say…
* “May Your name always be kept holy.” New Living Translation
* “Help us to honor Your name.” Contemporary English Version
* “Uphold the holiness of Your name.” Common English Bible
* “Let Thy name be sanctified.” Darby Translation
The Greek word for holy means purify, consecrate, venerate, declare sacred, set apart, and sanctify.
What is so important about God’s Name?
Beginning in Genesis 1, the Creator of the universe is known as Elohim, which is plural, meaning supreme God or the Triune God, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 2:4, Jehovah Elohim is used. Jehovah means the Existing or Eternal One, or the Lord.
To reveal more of Himself, God said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh … I am Jehovah… I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty [El-Shaddai], but by My name the Lord [Yahweh—the redemptive name of God] I did not make Myself known to them [in acts and great miracles].” (Ex. 6:1a, 2b Masoretic Text, Ex. 6:3 Amp)
The mere mention of the name of another god on the lips of one of God’s people profaned His Name. God told Israel, “In all I have said to you take heed; do not mention the name of other gods [either in blessing or cursing]; do not let such speech be heard from your mouth.” (Ex. 23:13 Amp)
At one time, the title Baali was applied to God. However, during the reign of Ahab, his wife Jezebel promoted the proliferation of idolatry and commanded the slaying of Jehovah’s prophets. Consequently, Baali became associated with the worship rituals and practices of Baal and conveyed a sense of shame.
Because of this, God directed Hosea to change His name. He desired that Israel keep His name and His presence pure and holy.
He said, “And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali … For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth; and they shall no more be remembered by their name … And I will betroth you to Me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in mercy, and in compassions. I will even betroth you to Me in faithfulness. And you shall know Jehovah.” (Hos. 2:16 KJV, Hos. 2:17, 19-20 MasT)
The use of the name Baali placed Israel in more of a subservient relationship with God as owner. Baali means my lord, but not in the sense we think of today. It was a title of respect and subservience.
Jehovah no longer wanted a relationship as a master or owner but as a Husband, betrothed to His people, that they would know Him intimately. He told Israel through Jeremiah, “Return, faithless people…for I am your Husband.” (Jer. 3:14 NIV)
In the third commandment, God said, “You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7 Amp)
The same Hebrew word is used in the above verse for use, repeat, and takes and means to lift up, exalt, extol, regard, respect, receive, magnify, marry, and so on.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are joined with Him through salvation, becoming a part “of His body, of His flesh and of His bones,” (Eph. 5:30 NKJV) as a divine oneness of being His Bride.
Would you say or do anything that is crude, immoral, or disrespectful to your spouse? To embarrass your spouse or speak against him/her in any way? Bring shame on his/her name?
What we say and do reflects on God’s Most Holy Name, on the name of our heavenly Bridegroom. On a scale of one to ten, how are you doing in keeping the Lord’s name holy? Is there room for improvement?
As the Lord told Moses, “You must not treat Me as common and ordinary. Revere Me and hallow Me, for I, the Lord, made you holy to Myself.” (Lev. 22:32 TLB)
~~Lord, help me to keep your precious Name holy!~~