“Asking for the Father to be Honoured”
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.9 Part 2
Matthew 6. Paxton, our one year old son, is very demanding. If it’s not his way, if his rights are violated he lets you know about it. He wants it and he wants it… NOW! In his highchair one day, he’s enjoying his lasangna. I spoon it up and let him hold the spoon and feed himself… b/c everyone knows you have to let him do it himself! He will throw a fit if you feed him.
He’s enjoying his lasagna … until he sees the chocolate chip muffins. Now, on his last bite of lasgana, he’s throwing a fit. He’s demanding of me, literally wailing in my face for this muffin. Thankfully, with all the kids’ help, we got him to calm down and since we taught him to say “please” in sign language, he finally got the point and said ‘please.’ He’s slowly learning that he needs to submit to his God-given authority. That is good for him. His honour of his parents is first, his wants and even his needs second.
Paxton screaming in my face demanding his rights. I think that’s how we often treat prayer to our Father who is in heaven. Do you think of your wants and needs before God’s honour? Do you often consider your heavenly Father’s glory or His plans? In the Lord’s prayer, notice it’s God’s rights that are focused on first then our needs.
Matthew 6:9–13 9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
God’s rights are first for a reason. It is good for us that His rights be preeminent.
You can see that the six requests of the Lord’s prayer are divided up with 3 God focused requests and then 3 requests that concern man’s needs.
Verse 9 at the end… “Your name,” “Your kingdom,” “your will” Then…”give us,” “forgive us,” “do not lead us but deliver us.”
First, God’s rights on the earth. Second, man’s needs. From Majestic, glorious, and wonderful, to my state of humility: my need for bread, my need for forgiveness, my need for rescue out of temptation. God’s rights, then my needs.
That’s instructive of itself.
And our prayers as in all of life need to be God focused. Whether we eat or drink or whatever I do, I am to do all to the glory of God, including my praying, not my glory.
What we’ll see with each of these first 3 requests is that they have a future, perfect fulfillment, but that they can be more or less fulfilled in people’s lives today.
This morning will be the last part of verse nine, “Hallowed be Your name.”
First, we will discuss the Father’s “name.” Second, the concept of hallowing His name, and third, asking that the Father’s name be hallowed. First, the name of God. “Hallowed be Your name” …
The Name of God
Jesus has taught us thus far …. “Pray in this way. Our Father who is in heaven.” When we pray, we are speaking to God as our Father. “Father” is a warm and close term denoting a family relationship. Those adopted into His family by faith alone in Christ alone can rightly call God their Father. “Father” is also a term that speaks to our respect of Him and fear of disobeying him. And he is in heaven, exercising sovereignty and control over all the universe and over my life.
His name deserves to be hallowed.
In the Hebrew Old Testament, a “name” was chosen because of its meaning. In our culture, so often the case is … we choose names based on how they sound or because of some family history. However in ancient Israel, they more often than we chose names based on character. This is also true of God. God’s name reflects His character.
The two most important names of God are Elohim and Yahweh. These names reflect His character as well. The root word for Elohim, El, means “to be strong.” And it occurs frequently in combination with other names. For example, “El Elyon” which means “God most high.”
Or “El Shaddai” which means God Almighty, translated into Greek with a very strong sounding name “pantokrator.” God Almighty. There is also El Ngolam, the Everlasting God and El Hai, the living God. God’s name reflects His character.
Then there is God’s covenant name Yahweh, which in the KJV is sometimes translated Jehovah. IEHOUAH, or something similar, was how it was originally would have sounded in English before our English translations. The English term Jehovah was formed by taking the Latin consonants JHVH with the vowels of Adonai, which means “Lord” or master. Jehovah was popularized by William Tyndale in the 14th century in the first English translation from the Hebrew and Greek texts.
Unfortunately, all this is necessary because the historical vocalization of God’s name Yahweh was lost during the third and second centuries before Christ because the rabbis at that time chose not to pronounce the name of God out of a superstitious fear of using the name improperly, and so the correct pronunciation wasn’t preserved. As Hebrew was at that time, there were no written vowels. However, in the 6th-10th centuries after Christ, what we believe to be the true pronunciation was restored. The vowels of Adonai was added to the Hebrew YHWH by the Masoretes, a set of Jewish scholars and scribes, resulting in what we believe today to be the correct pronunciation: Yahweh.
Now, Yahweh is His only proper name, translated as LORD with all capital letters in most of our translations. The root of Yahweh comes from the verb “to be.” When Yahweh calls on Moses to rescue his people out of Egypt Moses response to God and says, “What shall I tell the people when they ask me who it is who sent me?” God says to Moses, “I am who I am” … tell them “I AM” has sent me to you. Moses was to say…”Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has sent me to you.” That reflects the character of God. He simply is. He is the self existent one, He is independent of all, and unchangeable. Again, God’s name reflects His character.
But here, this first request of the Lord’s prayer is, “Hallowed by Your Name.” Hallowed be the Father’s name. But still we have to ask, what does it mean … The Father’s “name?”
The focus is not the letters that make up His name
In our culture, when we think of somebody’s name we think of the title by which we call them.
However, someone’s name in Hebrew culture does not primarily reflect the title of the person. In God’s case, it surely reflects His character, who they are, not their title. The name of someone is who they are.
Just take the Psalms for example. It’s clear from these verses that the primary idea is not the letters that make up the title, but Himself.
Psalm 5:11 11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.” Those who love God’s name…does the name sound lovely, that’s why they love it? “Oh, I just that’s a pretty name.” No, “name” is speaking to His person. That those who love Your name may exult in You.”
Psalm 7:17 17 … sing praise to the name of Yahweh Most High.” Is the psalmist singing to the letters making up the name of the LORD? No, he’s singing praise to Him.
Psalm 8:1 1 O Yahweh, our Adonai, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
Psalm 9:2 2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:10 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, ….” Is it that all you have to do is be very aware of God’s name and then you’ll trust Him? No, it’s knowing God… “all those who know Your name [who know You] will put their trust in You.”
Clearly in the Scripture, “name” often refers to the person of God. It’s that way here in Mathew 6:9, “Hallowed be Your Name.” Hallowed be You! May You be Hallowed.
TRANS: Now, what does it mean to “hallow?”
Hallowing the Father’s Name
Unfortunately our English translations have retained this old word “hallow.” I supposed that they have done so because of the familiarity of the readers likely are with this passage. Unfortunately, not all of us know what the word means.
It’s meaning is to treat as holy. To sanctify, or set apart. To put something in an exalted category. To honor. For example…
1 Peter 3:15 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts…Sanctify or you could simply say, honor Christ as Lord, treat Him as holy. Honor Him as the Lord that He truly is.
Another example of the meaning of hallow…, in the nation of Israel after the LORD does a mighty work among them
Isaiah 29:23 23 But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, They will sanctify My name [same word translated “hallow”]; Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob And will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Stand in awe of Him; glory in Him! Wonder at who He is and all His splendour…set Him apart, exalt Him into a unique category, treat His as Holy! This is what it means to hallow Him.
TRANS: But in this prayer, the focus is not treating Him holy nor necessarily exalting Him, although doing that in prayer is part of it. But we’re asking that this may be the case. Receive Your glory! So thirdly, asking for the Father’s name to be hallowed.
Asking for the Father’s name to be hallowed
It’s a request, “May your name be hallowed.”
It puts me in my place and God in His. Asking for this helps me put me in my place and helps me put my Father in His place. Instead of me rushing to Him, only wailing at Him for all of my needs, I come to Him focused on His glory and His honor… asking for Him to be revered and honoured, even in my need.
This tells us the priority in prayer and how God uses prayer. Somebody says, “if God is our Father who is in heaven and He rules over all and is totally in control and sovereign, on what basis should I even pray? Why should I pray? Will He not do all He has decided to do anyway?
Answer: God has decided to use prayer to accomplish His work. And He wants real fellowship with you. So when you come to our heavenly Father in prayer and you are praying of first priority that He would be honoured, you are praying that His purpose in heaven and on earth would be accomplished: That He would receive the glory due unto Him.
Unlike what most people think, God is not man-focused. God is no idol worshipper. He is the self existent One and His plans and His purposes will be accomplished. His glory must be exalted and He has created human beings and all of creation to show forth His glory and to bring Him honour. “Father, may you be honoured!”
When we pray this, we are lining ourselves up with who God is and His purposes in the earth. We exist to glorify God, to honour Him, to be avenues for God to receive the wonderful praise that is due Him.
And when human beings do that, we are most fulfilled in life. When we fail to glorify Him, we are most miserable. When we go against Him and do not have His glory and power at heart, the longing of our heart, or when we have our selfish interests as our top priority as shown in our prayers, we will fail to fulfill our purpose in the earth and our life won’t work well in God’s sight and we won’t fulfill our purpose for all eternity. Like the catechasim says, “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
It is not as Mark Twain said.. “What is the chief end of man?–to get rich. In what way?–dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.” But how often are our prayers preoccupied with our own selves and our plans and we’re attempting to steal God’s honour by trying to turn His attention from His eternal purposes onto my purposes. “But God, you don’t understand my purpose, I must have ______.” No, you don’t understand!
We of primary importance set Him apart as holy and honourable; desire Him and seek His ends in this earth, fitting ourselves into His eternal plan. “Not my will, but thine be done.”
This request is fulfilled in time. When we pray and request that the Father Himself would be honoured, asking that He be set apart and treated as holy, that will teach us not to use His name flippantly. When we truly hallow His name, we will not use His name as a swear word or refer to Him in our speech in an inappropriate way. He’s the king of glory! How could I ever use His name so emptily? One fulfillment of this request is that I honour Him in my speech when I make reference to Him.
This request is made secondly when we praise Him with our lips in private and public. We should praise Him for his kindness, glorify Him for his strength and wisdom power and might love and kindness and grace and mercy.
O could I speak the matchless worth,
O could I sound the glories forth
Which in my Savior shine,
I’d soar, and touch the heav’nly strings,
and vie [compete] with Gabriel while he sings
in notes almost divine,
in notes almost divine.
There in this request is true joy and you can lose yourself in love and the wonder of His name.
Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
And say with the 4 living creatures in Rev. 7…Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Third, this request is made when we pray that men everywhere would glorify Him!
Psalm 68:32–35 32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Sing praises to the Lord, … 33 To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice. 34 Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel And His strength is in the skies. 35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God! “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Sing praises to the Lord”
4th, this request is made when we pray that men would confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
Philippians 2:10–11 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
5th this request is made when we pray that our lives would glorify God, that our lives would match your lips. Would that God would be lifted up in my pain in my pleasure in my health and in my sickness by all means and in all circumstances, that the name of the Lord will be lifted up.
But the request will ultimately be fulfilled, after this age. There will come a day when all the families of the earth will praise the Lord. There is coming a day when Christ will return and all His enemies, including death itself, will be vanquished and He along with those who are His be left. Then the earth will be filled with His praises and His righteousness will rule in the earth and all things we put into subjection to Him.
And all men everywhere will lift up the glory of His name and will bow the knee and will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, perfectly hallowing His name, honouring Him for all eternity.
And then will come a loud voice of a great multitude Rev. 19 … Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS;
And in antiphony, the answer comes from the 24 elders and the four living creatures falling down and worshiping God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And then a voice coming from the throne saying, “Give praise to our God all you his bond servants you who fear him, the small and the great.”
And then comes the great multitude like the sound of many waters and like the sound of a mighty peals of thunder will say in reply… “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!”
Oh, the glory of that day! And to think, by God’s grace we can enter into that glorious session of praise when the great multitudes of God’s people are there and we’ll have a praise service like we’ve never known before! And we can enter into that glorious praise in microcosm…today, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name.”
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.9 Part 2
What is it going to take for sinful human beings today to honour God like this? To pray like this? A total reorientation of our hearts … to where, I actually put God’s rights above my needs. It requires a confession that I, in my natural condition, I do not glorify God…my fundamental nature is to reject Him, to turn from Him, not to desire and long for His rights to be met. It’ll take a confession that along with all of humanity, this is true of me… “All have sinned and fall short of glorifying God” that’s me, that’s my life, that’s my basic nature. “Lord God of glory, be merciful to me; I’m a sinner!”
We fail to fit our life into God’s life and glory purposes in the earth. We need to be a Father-oriented, heavenly Father-focused, Christ-exalting people…that takes a regeneration of your heart, which is the work of God that we receive from Him through faith.
Oh that my gracious Father would be exalted in my life no matter the cost! That His glory would be known! Not unto me, but unto Thy name give glory!
41 Blessed be the Name