By Allen White
...hallowed be your name, Matthew 6:9
“Hallowed” is not a word that we use much. Of course, we know the word from the Lord’s Prayer, but other than references like the “hallowed halls” of a university, it’s not a term that gets much airplay.
For God’s Name to be hallowed is to set it apart as holy. God’s Name is not something for common use, and especially not for vulgar conversation. The third commandment states, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7). It’s definitely time to brush up on our “hallowing” skills.
But, what does it mean to set God’s Name apart? What do people put in their china cabinets? You will typically find family heirlooms and wedding patterns. The cabinets display things of value, either monetary or sentimental. China cabinets aren’t used to store paper plates and plastic forks. It’s not a Chinet cabinet after all.
Things we commonly use are found in kitchen cabinets. They’re for daily use. But, the china cabinet holds special things for special occasions. They are set apart. They are hallowed.
God’s Name shouldn’t be avoided, but it should be set apart for special use. In biblical times, names signified something about a person’s character. Abraham was “the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). Immanuel is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Some people, today, pour over baby name books to find a meaningful name for their child. For instance the name Allen means “handsome.” My parents did well.
God has many names including Holy (Luke 1:49), Faithful (Revelation 19:11), Provider (Genesis 22:14), Healer (Exodus 15:26) – over 300 names in all. To hallow God’s Name is to give God Himself the honor that He deserves.
In today’s culture, we are loose with our words. We just LOVE an AWESOME cup of coffee. What does it mean then to love an Awesome God? Back in the 80’s the valley girls alternated “like” with “oh my god.” Now, God only gets on letter – OMG.
It might be time to rethink how we use God’s Name. Not because He’s going to lower the boom, but because God deserves our honor and our respect.
How do you use God’s Name? What do you find slipping out now and then? How can you hallow God’s Name in your daily life?