Summary: We have lost this idea of reverence for the name of God, and the result is, God's name is not very special, but is common. It is thrown around like Tom, Dick, and Harry. It is so common that it is nearly impossible to feel any reverence when people use His name.
Vice Presidents have names just as presidents, but they seldom become names we
remember. George was vice president under president Polk, but only a whiz in trivial
pursuit would ever remember his last name. He had a chance to become president of the
United States, but he lost that chance because of a close vote in the Senate on a tariff bill.
It was 27 to 27 and he had to break the deadlock. He could not win, for however he voted
he would make half of the Senate his enemies, and that is what happened, and he did not
get the nomination for president because of that vote. He retired and never held public
office again. His name would have gone into obscurity except for a small Texas town.
Texas had just joined the union, and they wanted to honor the vice president by naming
their town after him. Because of this honor we all recognized the last name of that one
time vice president, George Dallas.
We all like our name to be honored, for our name represents us. Alexander the Great
had a soldier in his army who was also named Alexander, but he had a reputation of
always being at a safe distance in the hour of battle. When the great Alexander heard of
this, he commanded the soldier to be brought to him, and in anger he gave this order to
him: "Either live up to you name, or get a new one." He wanted the name of Alexander
to be honored. This is normal, and legitimate, to want a good name-a name you can wear
proudly. Prov. 22:1 says, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
Nobody wants to get a bad name for themselves. The saying is true, "The person with
a bad name is already half hanged." I have known people whose reputation was so bad
they got blamed for all the wrong doing in their community. They were blamed whether
guilty or not, because they had a bad name. We all know what Judas did to his name. He
ruined it for all of history. Demas, by forsaking Paul for worldly gain, became
synonymous with deserter. Benedict Arnold did the same in our American history. Once
you get a rotten reputation it is almost as hard to regain honor for your name, as to get
rotten meat fresh again. That is why we need to treat our name with respect. Edgar
Guest expressed it in poetry:
You got it from your father,
'Twas the best he had to give.
And right gladly in bestowed it.
It's yours, the while you live.
You may lose the watch he gave
You, and another you may claim,
But remember, when you're
Tempted, to be careful of his name.
It was fair the day you got it,
And a worthy name to bear,
When he took it from his father,
There was no dishonor there.
Through the years he proudly
wore it, and to his father he was true,
And that name was clean and
spotless when he passed it on to you.
Oh, there's much that he has
given that he values not at all.
He has watched you break your
play things in the days when you were small.
You have lost the knife he gave
you and you've scattered many a game,
But you'll never hurt your father
if you're careful with his name.
Is your to wear forever,
Yours to wear the while you live,
Yours, perhaps, some distant
morning, another boy to give.
And you'll smile as did your
father-with a smile that all can share,
If a clean name and a good
name you are giving him to wear.
It seems perfectly logical that if there is a strong desire in the human family to
maintain the honor of their name, how much more should this be the desire of the family
of God? God, our heavenly Father, is not an abstraction, but He is a Person, and He also
has a name. His name is important to Him, and He expects His family to respect and
honor it. The reputation of God is often in the hands of His children, and He wants them
to be aware of this great responsibility. The first desire we are to express in prayer,
therefore, is the desire that His name would be hallowed, or honored, that is, respected.
You can see how all of life, in word and walk, is going to be affected if our number one
concern is the honoring of God's name.
This is number one in prayer, for the same reason God is to be number one in all
things, for when He is in the right place, all the rest fall into order and make sense, for all