Bible Studies for Life
October 21 2018
Matthew 6:9b; Psalm 96:1-9 (HCSB)
Matthew 6:9b says “Your name be honored as holy.” God’s name was sacred to the Jews to the point that they would not speak it. They sensed that any casual use of God’s holy name could inadvertently lead to breaking the commandment against using God’s name in a vain way. To avoid this problem the Jews substituted the words Adoni or Elohim for the divine name of God Yahweh when they read Scripture. God’s name signifies more than His title. In the Bible a person’s name represented a person’s character. God’s name is holy and it reflects His holy character.
Psalm 96 is a hymn of praise in which David connected God’s name with God’s holiness. Psalm 96:1-9 ascribes praise to God’s name for His “salvation … glory … wonderful works” and the splendor of creation. This Scripture passage also describes that our response should be “worship” (Psalm 96:9). The Psalmist said we should sing praise fear ascribe bring an offering and approach Him.
We need to make the connection of God’s name and His holiness to honor. We know God’s name is holy. How do we honor it as holy? Martin Luther said “How is God’s name hallowed among us? When both our doctrine and living are truly Christian.” It should be the prayer of all believers that God be honored in what we believe and how we live out that belief in our lives.
First Peter 1:15 says “But as the One who called you is holy you also are to be holy in all your conduct for it is written ‘Be holy because I am holy.’” We are living in a culture that embraces relativism subjectivism and the privatization of religion. Sadly many in the church have embraced this as well. Holiness is not looked at as a virtue but a vice. If we really want to honor God’s holy name we should live out our doctrine in the culture around us.