November 21 - LD 47, Day 3: The Awesome Name of God
by Rev. Andrew Lanning
Read: Psalm 8
The first petition is a petition about Godís name: ďHallowed be thy name.Ē
Godís name is unique and
special, because Godís name reveals who He is. Our names are not like this, for
our names are merely tags to distinguish us from each other. Our names do not
describe who we are, what we are like, whether we are kind or cruel, rich or
poor, healthy or ill. Our names do not describe our hopes and aspirations.
Perhaps our parents gave us our names to honor a family member who bears that
name, or because they liked the way the name sounds, or because the name has a
significant meaning. But for all of their significance, our names can never
reveal who we are. In the end, they are just a way to address each other.
However, Godís name is different. When God speaks His name, He is telling us who and what He is. To know Godís name is to know God Himself!
This is true of Godís proper names first of all. His name, God, literally means mighty. It reveals Him as all-powerful, both to create and to save. His name, Jehovah, literally means I AM. It reveals Him as the eternal and unchangeable God of the covenant. His name, Lord, refers to His sovereign dominion and authority over all things. His name, Father, reveals Him as the God of the covenant, who brings His chosen people into covenant fellowship with Himself. His name, Shepherd, reveals Him to be the tender, compassionate leader and pastor of His people. These names are more than mere handles to address God; they are His revelation of Himself to His people.
Scripture goes even further yet. It identifies Godís name to be certain things that we would not normally consider the name of God. For example, Psa 8:1 says that Godís name is revealed in the creation: ďO LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.Ē This does not merely mean that Godís name is praised as excellent in all the earth. It means that all of the earth is Godís excellent name. No matter where the believer looks in creation, he sees the revelation of God, and therefore the name of God. That is why Lordís Day 47 explains this petition about Godís name in terms of Godís works.
The response of the believer is to exclaim with the Psalmist in a different place, ďBless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.Ē (Psa 103:1).