“Our Father Which Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name” Part II

"Our Father Which Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Part II)

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


CHAPTER 2 – OUTLINE

SUBJECT: Pray This Way – "Our Father Which Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name". (Part II)

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13

TEXT: "Our Father in Heaven let your name be held holy." (Matthew 6:9)

INTRODUCTION:

In an age in which man feels self-sufficient and powerful, man needs to be reminded of his creature hood and needs to be reminded of God's Creator hood.

PROPOSITION:

It is God's Power that is the emphasis of this message. Through the approach of contrast, we can gain a greater appreciation of man's finiteness and a greater appreciation of God's Almighty Power.

I. OUR FATHER 'IN HEAVEN' REMINDS US OF GOD'S POWER.

A. Man Is Limited But God Is Omnipotent.

B. Man Is Transitory But God Is Eternal.

CONCLUSION:

To pray Our Father 'In Heaven' reminds us of our humanity and human weakness, and it reminds us of God's Power.

14

Web Design GroupBack To Top

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


CHAPTER 2

SUBJECT: Pray This Way – "Our Father Which Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name". (Part II)

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13

TEXT: "Our Father in Heaven let your name be held holy." (Matthew 6:9)

INTRODUCTION:

In the first message on this petition, it was noted that the word 'FATHER' reminds us of God's love. It was noted also that the word 'OUR' reminds us of God's family. This petition and the two following petitions of the Lord's Prayer, direct our attention toward God. They remind us of God's nature and purpose.

This first petition of the Lord's Prayer, reminds us of four things about God: (1) God's Love, (2) God's Family, (3) God's Power, and (4) God's Holiness.

It is the third attribute of God around which this message is constructed. In an age in which man feels self-sufficient and powerful, man needs to be reminded of his creature hood and needs to be reminded of God's Creatorhood. It is when man views God and His mighty works that he learns anew that he is limited, weak, finite, and dependent.

PROPOSITION:

It is God's Power that is the emphasis of this message. Through the approach of contrast, we can gain a greater appreciation of man's finiteness and a greater appreciation of God's Almighty Power.

I. OUR FATHER 'IN HEAVEN' REMINDS US OF GOD'S POWER.

In the day in which we live when it is so easy to sentimentalize about God, it is important for us to realize that God is not human and earthly, but that He is divine and heavenly. The contemporary world is awed by man's great technological and scientific advances, and idolizes that which is powerful. It is time for our age to realize anew that man is not as powerful as he thinks he is, and that God is infinitely more powerful than He has been conceived to be.

To call God Our Father 'In Heaven' will remind us of the Infinite Power of God and the Finite Weakness of Man. The thing that is most astounding about man is not his strength but his weakness. The religion of humanism has so idolized man and his abilities that man is pictured as a self-sufficient and potentially all-powerful being. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite man's technological advances and despite potential resources, man remains weak and dependent. Man's mind is capable of amazing feats and astounding inventions, but even then man must ever remember

15

Web Design GroupBack To Top

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


that his accomplishments are more the produce of revelation and sudden insight than he realizes.

It is not man's power that we need to emphasize. Man is really a very weak and finite creature. It is God's Eternal Power that we must constantly realize. To pray Our Father 'In Heaven' should remind us of God's Eternal Power and Man's Finite weakness.

A. Man Is Limited But God Is Omnipotent.

When one man considered man in view of the vastness of the universe, he pessimistically declared that "Man is but a rash on the epidermis of the universe." Although the cynicism and pessimism that is evident in this statement is not in accord to the Biblical view of man, there is one thing that this statement acknowledges: Man's finiteness and incomparable smallness.

It is not a pessimistic view of man that is the true and realistic picture of man. To look at man realistically is to look at him in the light of God and His powerful creation. Such a comparison is not meant to produce cynicism, pessimism, or futility, but rather such a comparison is meant to produce humility, awe, and appreciation.

David looked at man in a new way when he looked at man in the context of God's marvelous and vast creation. "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, How much greater is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him but little lower than Thyself, and Crownest him with glory and honor." (Psalms 8 Part)

Considering God's Power and the vastness of His universe, man's involvement in the world appears to be very insignificant. "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing … All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity." (Isaiah 40:15, Isaiah 40:17) Man is limited greatly. He is limited by gravity. Man's most powerful machines will project him only a very small distance into the vastness of space. Man's probing telescopic instruments only magnify man's limitation and remind him of God's infinite power and man's relative insignificance.

When man honestly appraises his increasing knowledge of the earth and the universe he must be compelled to declare: "Human Beings are very weak and limited and are the humble creatures of an Almighty Creator." Geological and astronomical facts have actually increased man's appreciation of his Creator's Power.

16

Web Design GroupBack To Top

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


To gain a greater appreciation of our smallness and our Creator's greatness, let us look at a few astronomical facts … Consider the Solar System in comparison to the Milky Way Galaxy. The Solar System is comprised of nine planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto – all of which orbit our Sun. "It is roughly 4,000 million miles from the sun to the outermost planet, 27 million, million miles from the sun to the nearest star. To give these distances meaning, let us try a drastic reduction of scale. Take a golf ball to represent the sun, and a dozen feet away put a small sand grain to represent the earth. The farthest planet, Pluto, will be another sand grain 500 feet from the golf ball. Within the 1,000 feet wide orbit of Pluto are all the other planets. But to place the nearest star in our model, we must take another golf ball 600 miles away!…On this scale the moon would be scarcely more than a dust speck about ½ inch from the sand grain." (Fundamentals of Physical Science; pgs. 583, 584)

The Milky Way Galaxy, of which our Sun and its nine orbiting planets is only a very small part, is said to contain about 100 billion stars! Almost every star we see in the night sky is a member of the Milky Way Galaxy. Our sun is the closest star to us, of course. It is for this reason that it appears so much larger than the other stars. Actually, however, the sun is a very average-sized star. In comparison to some stars, the sun is very small.

Look at the earth in connection to the sun. The earth is constantly rotating on its axis at the rate of 1000 miles per hour, or put in other terms, about one- fourth mile per second. While the earth is rotating on its axis, it is also revolving around the sun once each year. In one year's time, the earth travels 595 million miles in its orbit around the sun, or at a speed of 18 ½ miles per second! While the earth is rotating on its axis at the rate of 1/4 mile per second, and while the earth is orbiting the sun at a rate of 18 ½ miles per second, the entire Solar system (sun and nine planets) are all traveling in space at the rate of 12 miles per second (43,000 mph) and are headed toward a certain star in outer space – the star Vega.

Thus, to look at the speed of orbits alone will give us a greater appreciation of our Creator's orderly universe. In our Space Age, we are very conscious of distances and speeds. "From the earth to our nearest neighbor, the moon, is 240,000 miles; from the earth to the sun is 93 million miles. A rocket traveling away from the earth at a steady speed of 10,000 miles hour., would take 24 hours to reach the moon, more than a year to reach the sun." (Ibid; p. 584) "Although we are the enormous distance of 93 million miles from the sun, the next nearest star (Proxima Centauri) is more than 270,000 times farther away. Light takes 8 minutes to reach us from the sun but more than four years from Proxima

17

Web Design GroupBack To Top

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


Centauri – and billions of years from the most distant observed stars." (Ibid; p. 601)

At this point, it would be helpful to mention what the speed of light is. Light travels at the fantastic speed of 186,000 miles per second. This means that if you could travel around the world seven and a half times in one second's time, you would be travelling about the speed of light.

What about the size of the earth in comparison to our sun? "The sun's mass is over 300,000 times greater than that of the earth and its volume is so immense that 1,300,000 earths would fit into it." (Ibid, p. 607)

Consider briefly the Milky Way Galaxy in relationship to other Galaxies in the Universe. The size of the Milky Way is almost incomprehensibly huge. Travelling at the speed of light (186,000 mph), it would take 20 thousand years to go the shortest distance across our Galaxy. Going from one length of it to the other, it would take 100 thousand years, travelling at the speed of light! The figures given are only those for one galaxy – The Milky Way Galaxy. However, there are literally hundreds of billions of galaxies in God's Universe! The next closest galaxy to the Milky Way Galaxy is the Great Andromeda Galaxy which is 2.2 million light years away (22 times the length of the Milky Way Galaxy). It is believed by scientists that the Universe is constantly expanding at a fantastic rate. It is believed that the most distant galaxies from our own galaxy are moving away from our Milky 'Way galaxy at the rate of 150,000 miles per second.

After reviewing a few amazing facts regarding our Universe, it surely is not hard to believe the Psalmist's words: "God hath spoken once; twice I have heard this; that power belongeth unto God." (Psalms 62:11) How beautiful are Isaiah's words about God: "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heaven as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." (Isaiah 40:22)

B. Man Is Transitory But God Is Eternal.

Man's life is brief and passing. He comes on the stage of history to play his little part and then soon passes off that stage to let another generation occupy his place. "All flesh is like grass, and its glory is like the flower of the grass. The grass withers and its flower fades; but the Word of the Lord lasts forever." (Barclay: 1 Peter 1:24) Death is the common denominator of all men. "For the living know that they shall die." (Ecclesiastes 9:5 a) "What is your life like? You are like a mist which appears for little time, and then disappears". (Barclay James 4:14) Man labors hard throughout his short lifespan only to leave his laboriously-gained goods to someone else. "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat

18

Web Design GroupBack To Top

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19)

In contrast to man's brief passing existence, God is eternal and unchanging. Time is only an outcrop in eternity; God is not limited by the dimensions and passing of time. God is eternal in the heavens. God had no beginning and shall have no end. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God … For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." Psalms 90:1, Psalms 90:2, and Psalms 90:4)

Man is staggered by the aeons of time that passed ever before man appeared on the scene. Recorded history occupies only a small fraction of the time of the earth's existence. Says one historian about recorded history in comparison to the earth's existence: "Scientists now assign to the earth an existence covering at least four billion years – perhaps more. The staggering immensity of this period impresses upon us the brevity of human history when compared to the whole span of earth history. Let us use a simple comparison and assume that these four billion years of the earth's history were compressed into one year's time. One hundred and twenty-five years would then go by as one second. According to this timetable, mankind first appeared on earth something over an hour ago. The pyramids of Egypt were built forty seconds ago, the Hebrews wandered into Palestine less than half a minute ago, Caesar was murdered some sixteen seconds ago, Christ was Crucified a little more than a quarter of a minute ago, Columbus discovered America less than four seconds ago, and by this same schedule the American Republic has existed less than a second and a half in the long year of earth history!" (The Peoples of The Ancient World; by Swain and Armstrong; pgs. 1,22)

Barclay uses another comparison: "History is a process of almost unimaginable length. It has been put this way. Suppose all time to be represented by a column the height of Cleopatra's Needle with one single postage stamp upon the top of it, then the length of recorded history is represented by the thickness of the postage stamp, and the unrecorded history which went before it by the height of the whole column." (Barclay's Peter; p. 297)

It is believed that the Universe is something like 13 billion years old. And yet, to God, this is not staggering and impressive, for God is eternal in the Heavens and is not confined by time or space. God is the Creator of the world and universe and is thus over and above it and independent of it. Listen to the descriptive language of God's creative works: "Bless – affectionately, gratefully praise – the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty: Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who has stretched

19

Web Design GroupBack To Top

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


out the heavens like a curtain or a tent. Who lays the beams of the upper room of His abode in the waters (above the firmament)? Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes winds His messengers, flames of fire His ministers. You laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved forever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hasted away. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which You appointed for them." (Psalms 104:1-8, Amplified)

Considering God's mighty acts, is it any wonder that man feels insignificant? God is the Almighty Creator; man is the finite creature of dust. That man is literally made of the earth's elements is understood well by the chemist. As one has noted: Man is made of "material substances which can be purchased at the corner drugstore for less than five dollars". (The Word of The Lord Came Unto Me Also; p. 121) And yet the Eternal Creator loves and cares for man!

Man is weak but God is Almighty. Even among the other creatures on earth, man is very weak. Man is not the fastest animal; man is not the biggest animal; man is far from being the strongest animal. And yet God has endowed man with an intellect to enable him to dominate the earth. Isaiah reminds man of his weakness in contrast to God's power when he asks the question: "Who hath measured the waters in the hallow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighted the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?" (Isaiah 40:12) In contrast to God whom Isaiah says can weigh the mountains in scales, man would have a life- time job on his hands if he had to overturn a section of land with a hand spade! Man becomes weary so soon and has to spend a third of his seventy years sleeping. In contrast, God never becomes weary or faint. "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" (Isaiah 40:28)

CONCLUSION:

Man is really very weak and limited. It is not man's accomplishments and independence that is astonishing; in contrast, it is man's limitations and dependency that is astonishing. Man is one of the smaller, slower, and weaker earthly creatures, although God has assigned to him the most significant role on earth. It is in contrast to the Almighty God that man really gains his insignificance. Man is limited but God is Omnipotent and therefore the entire Universe is subject to His command. Man is transitory but God is eternal in the Heavens. To pray Our Father 'In Heaven' reminds us of our humanity and human weakness, and it reminds us of God's Power.

20

Web Design GroupBack To Top

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s