Question 9: What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?
Answer: First, that we know and trust God as the only true and living God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry and do not worship God improperly. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence, honoring also his Word and works.
The third commandment, which forbids the misuse of God’s name, implies our responsibility to revere the name of God. The prevailing of reverence for God’s name is the leading petition of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9: “Hallowed be your name.”
God’s name is his self-revelation. For us to revere his name is to honor him as God above all, to worship him, to fear him. The Lord’s Prayer leads out with this request because the chief end of all creation is that God may be glorified in all that he has made. When we pray, “Hallowed be your name,” we are asking God to make himself known as God among the heavenly beings and on earth among all nations. We are calling upon God to glorify himself in all creation.
Suggested passages for family or personal reading: Matthew 6:7-15. What are the various requests of the Lord’s Prayer, and what do they mean? How can we use this prayer as a model for our own prayers?