Summary: This series includes applications from Brad Young's "The Jewish Background of the Lord's Prayer" and Nehemia Gordon's and Keith Johnson's "A Prayer to Our Father." This lesson deals with Proclaiming, Praising, and Practicing the Name of God.
1. Importance of a Name
Shakespeare asked “What’s in a name” a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Many people, like Shakespeare, would say that a name is not important; however, the importance of a name is paramount. In the Bible the name of a person described their character and literally set the tone for their life. In Genesis35:18 Rachel, the wife of Jacob, travailed and had hard labor giving birth to the youngest son of Jacob. Rachel was in so much pain and her labor was so bad that she died giving birth, but with her last breath she called the name of this child “Benoni”, which means the son of my sorrow or son of my pain. Can you imagine going through life with the name sorrow or pain, being teased by the kids as the son that caused the death of his mother. Jacob said no his name will not be Benoni, but he will be called “Benjamin”, which means the son of my right hand.
2. Names are important. They tell us where you came from and they represent where and who you are. It is said that a person is only as good as their name. A good name is more desirable than great riches. Proverbs 22.1
3. Best sound to our ear is our name – frustrations when names are mispronounced or misspelled
• “Terry” – “Barry”
• Linda Greene and Linda Perry
4. Hallowing God’s Name – Matthew 6.9b
a. Hallow/Sanctify = to make holy/set apart for God’s purposes
b. As Implements in the Tabernacle/Temple
c. Fire – Nadab and Abihu used the wrong, common fire instead of the “holy” fire and were consumed by the fire of God
d. Priests’ Clothes (High Priest, especially)
e. People of God -- 5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” Exodus 19.5-6
I. Proclaim the Name of God
Apparently more than 10 million people a day check out eBay, that online auction website where you can buy anything from a broken laser pointer (the first eBay item ever offered for sale) to a jet (the most costly item purchased on eBay). If you’re not among the 10 million shoppers on eBay, is it because you’re worried about getting ripped off? How can you really be certain that you’re going to receive the item you paid for? When you buy something at a store you can handle the merchandise before purchasing it and immediately take it home with you after you’ve handed over your hard-earned cash. Veteran shoppers will tell you that before purchasing something off of eBay you’ll want to check out the seller’s feedback profile. If the merchant in question has ripped off others, there should be a record of it causing you to pause before you hit the “buy now” button.
Putting your faith in the God of the Bible is a little like purchasing something on eBay. You don’t get to “handle” eternal life before buying into it. We simply have God’s word that putting our faith in Jesus will one day lead to an eternal life of happiness.