Tuesday, November 19, 2013
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9 KJV).
Eliminating the static due to religious tradition, we present to you “the official prayer of Christendom” with unparalleled clarity….
The “Our Father” Prayer begins, of course, with “Our Father.” Who is the “our” in “Our Father?” Why are they calling God “Father?” What is the significance of God being “in heaven?”
“Our Father.” Remember, contrary to common belief, Jesus Christ did not minister to us Gentiles in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus stated, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24; cf. Romans 15:8). The “Our Father” is Israel’s model prayer—the “ye” of today’s Scripture is Israel’s believing remnant. Jesus is speaking to Israel, not us, in today’s Scripture. “Father” denotes origin. When Israel called God “Father,” they were acknowledging He gave birth to them (Deuteronomy 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 89:26). God gave birth to national Israel when He delivered them from Egyptian bondage (“Israel is my son, even my firstborn;” Exodus 4:22,23; cf. Hosea 11:1). Israel is to renounce Satan as their spiritual father (John 8:42-44), discard their pagan idols whom they foolishly called “father” (Jeremiah 2:27), and declare, “O LORD, thou art our father” (Isaiah 64:8). Israel’s believing remnant will do this in the future (Isaiah 63:16; Jeremiah 3:19).
“Which art in heaven.” God was to dwell with Israel on earth (Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 2:1-5; Daniel 2:34,35,44; Zechariah 8:23), and yet He is in heaven. Israel is acknowledging her fall into sin (Deuteronomy 32:15; Hosea 1:2; Acts 7:38-43,51-53), and her delaying God’s earthly kingdom (2 Chronicles 7:19-22); in the future seven-year Tribulation, believing Israel will acknowledge this.
“Hallowed be thy name.” Israel is recognizing JEHOVAH as separate from the pagan gods and goddesses they historically served. Unlike Moses (Deuteronomy 32:51), Israel is praising His name as holy. Isaiah 8:13 urged sinful Israel: “Sanctify [Hallow] the LORD of hosts himself; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” Israel’s believing remnant will also honor (“sanctify”) JEHOVAH’S name in the last days (Isaiah 29:23).
Let us continue dissecting the “Our Father” Prayer….