November 24 - LD 47, Day 6: Unto Thy Name Give Glory
by Rev. Andrew Lanning
Read: Psalm 115
Last time we saw that God hallows His own name by setting it apart from all other names as holy and worthy of praise. This time we see that God also hallows His name in us. When we pray, “Hallowed be thy name,” we are asking God to give us the grace to treat His name with reverence and praise. The Catechism indicates this when it explains the petition to mean: “Grant us . . . to know thee, and to sanctify, glorify, and praise thee . . . and that we may so order and direct our whole lives . . . that thy name may never be blasphemed, but rather honored and praised on our account.”
The Catechism recognizes that there is a connection between God and His people. What we do reflects on His name. To illustrate, this is the way it goes even in our earthly families. Each family has a certain reputation. If they have a good reputation, we say they have a good name. There is such a connection between the family members that the father’s name is affected by the children’s actions. If the children are rebellious and live in sin, that gives their father a bad reputation. But if the children are obedient and live uprightly, that gives their father a good reputation. That is something like what goes on with God’s name and His people. We bear God’s name. As David says in Psa 115:3, He is our God. As Acts 11:26 says, we are called Christians, bearing the name of Christ. What we do reflects on the name of God. As God’s children, therefore, we greatly desire to live in holiness to the praise of God. We pray urgently, “Hallowed be thy name in my life!”
Honoring God’s name this way will involve self-denial. All that we are belongs to God for the glory of His name. The Catechism indicates that this first petition is all-encompassing. We are asking God for the grace to glorify Him in “our whole lives, our thoughts, words, and actions.” This means that our plans, our ambitions, our desires, our speech, our entire lives must be subject to God. As Psa 115:1 puts it, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”
There are two parts to God’s name being hallowed in our lives: avoiding blasphemy and honoring Him. We conclude with this next time.