In this 3 minute video from PBS Historian Sir Simon Schama describes the Story of the Jews and the names of God.
Consider what is in a name.
Consider how casual we have become in our time about how names are used, especially the name of God.
Hashem is a Hebrew term for God, it means “the name.”
In the Bible the Hebrew word for God is made up of four vowels, and according to tradition it was only said out loud on Yom Kippur by the High Priest. Saying God’s name was considered a profoundly serious and powerful thing, in fact one of the Ten Commandments prohibits humans from saying God’s name in vain. As a result, people have come up with various substitutions. Other names for God in Jewish tradition, include: Adoshem, Yah, Yahweh, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, El Shaddai, Av Harahamim, and Harahaman.
Yet today God’s name is used in vain in a variety of ways. It has become common to hear it used in that manner.
Most people believe taking the Lord’s name in vain refers to using the Lord’s name as a swear word, but it includes much more than that. The God of Israel was known by many names and titles, but the concept embodied in God’s name plays an important and unique role in the Bible. As the perfect being we must consider God’s nature and attributes, the sum of His being, and especially His glory is reflected in His name (Psalm 8:1). In Psalm 111:9 His name is “holy and awesome,” and the Lord’s prayer begins by addressing God “hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9), an indication that a reverence for God and His name should be foremost in our life and prayers.
We post-moderns have become too casual in addressing God, often barging into our prayers with to do lists. God is not a Genie. We should always be mindful of God’s Holiness and the vast difference between his nature and ours. His ways are not our ways and that is for a particularly good reason- WE are Not God!!
Christ Jesus stands as a living human next to God the Father and it is through his grace and mercy that we can come to him in prayer.
Be mindful, respectful, and reverent in your prayers!!