Summary: A theme in the bible dating back to the third generation when "people began calling on the name of the Lord." It is vitally important to recognize the importance of the Lord's name--it is "hallowed." By calling on it we are saved.
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The Name of the Lord
I. The “genesis” of people calling on the Lord
In the third generation—with the first birth in Seth’s line-- people “began to call upon the name of the Lord.”
Gen 4:26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.
It was an event worth recording for all posterity.
Adam was now 235 years old.
After liberation from bondage in Egypt, Israelites were given 10 commands around which their whole system of law was centered.
The 3rd of those 10:
Exo 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
The name of God was, and is, to be held in the highest reverence
How might we take the name of the Lord in vain? By swearing in a way that includes the word “God” in conjunction with a swear word?
Let’s consider how the priests of Malachi’s time were doing it, because there God spells it out:
Mal 1:6-14 - read
By offering flawed and worthless sacrifices in the name of God, they were taking God’s name in vain, as God, through the prophet, goes on to explain further in 2:1-2:
Mal 2:1-2 - read
Certainly we should not speak God’s name in connection with profane speech, but if we think that “taking the name of the Lord your God in vain” means only a profane epithet that includes “God” we are missing the point.
Taking the Lord’s name in vain is to take it lightly, as if it were nothing to us.
It is not only something we might do in speech.
The opening words of Jesus’ model prayer hallow, or declare high reverence and honor—indeed, worship, for the name of God.
Mat 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
What does “hallowed” mean?” Holy
It is the same as Moses encountered at the burning bush, and was instructed
“Take off the sandal from your feet; for the place you are standing is holy ground.”
When we go to God in prayer, we venerate his name, mentally taking the sandals from our feet.
How easy it is for us to rush into God's presence with some urgent concerns, presumptuously spelling out how he is to deal with it. I’ve heard it said that we must be v--e--r--y specific in making our requests to God, as if our requests, lacking detail and specificity, might mislead God into granting something other than we intend to be requesting.
We should begin prayer by turning our focus on our heavenly father, opening ourselves to his presence, putting ourselves under his sovereignty and as Jesus demonstrated, revering his name--for precisely speaking, Jesus shows us that it is God’s name that is hallowed.
II. A place God would choose for his name
Deu 12:10-11 But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, then to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord.
By Solomon’s time, the Israelites had been in Canaan many years, and the Lord had still not revealed where among the tribes he would choose for his name to dwell.
1 Kings 3:2 The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.
Solomon built the temple David had want to build.
2 Chronicles 6:10 Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and I have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
God chose Jerusalem--specifically the temple Solomon built--as the place for his name to dwell.
2 Chronicles 7:16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.