“…hallowed be your name …” Matthew 6:9 (NIV)
In biblical times, your name represented your character. And, as you study the Bible, you’ll see that God has many names, each representing a benefit of what God promises to do you in your life.
For instance, Jehovah Jireh means “God will provide everything I need.” Jehovah Shalom means “God will be my peace.” And Jehovah Tsidkenu means “God will be my righteousness.”
Over and over in scripture, every name for God represents a basic problem, threat, or emotional illness you have in your life that God can take care of. He is omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful) and is “worthy to receive all glory and honor” (Revelation 4:11 NIV).
But one of the most violated commandments in our society today is number four: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” (Exodus 20:7 NKJV). Our society constantly takes the name of the Lord in vain. We hear it so often it doesn’t even offend us anymore. But it should! It bothers God.
I grew up in a family where we were not allowed to use God’s name in vain, but we also we weren’t allowed to use the subtle derivatives that are so common – gosh, jeez. I bet you didn’t even realize those are derivatives of God and Jesus. But my parents were firm that we not take God’s name in vain and that we wouldn’t even get close to it because they knew how serious it was to disrespect God in that way.
If we teach our children that God is able to meet all of our needs, then shouldn’t we also be teaching them to honor and respect him? His name included? He not only commands it, he deserves it.
By Rick Warren