Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Teach us to Pray, part 23: Qanna, Jealous

And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 'Give us each day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" (Luke 11:2-4 NASB)


Qanna is a Hebrew word that "relates to a marriage relationship". It is used to describe our relationship with God and indicates that He is a jealous God, not willing to share our praise or our loyalty. It is first used in the passage known as the Ten Commandments. 

You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God...
Genesis 20:5 NASB

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:24 NASB

For the Lord you God in the midst of you is a jealous God...
Deuteronomy 6:15 NASB

From the beginning of our relationship with God, He has made it absolutely clear that He is in charge and we are expected to obey Him. He has also made it clear that He does not tolerate infidelity in our relationship with Him and, in fact, will not let it go unnoticed. 

All these passages go on to say that worshipping other gods will also not go unpunished. The frightening thing to me is that idolatry has consequences for our children and our grandchildren, as well as for ourselves. Scripture makes it clear that, when we worship other gods, it has consequences, and is replete with examples of those who worshipped Molech and ultimately offered their own children as burnt offerings to their false god.

Worshipping other gods changes my priority, it changes the way I think and the way I live. Before I know it, I am no longer following God's way, but the way of the world and that is always costly.

It is easy for me to say that I would never worship a false god, but what should I call it when my desire for money, position, authority, power, or fame exceeds my desire to be wholly pleasing to God, to serve Him, to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength? That which takes first place in my life becomes my god, so I must be very careful that first priority is given to my Lord. 

How do I hallow the name of our God, Qanna? I must do what Jesus told us to do. Love Him with everything I have and, as an outpouring of that love, I obey Him. 

Hallowing the name of Qanna is easier than you might think. Love and obey. That sounds simple, and it is. It's a relationship, and we are to do for Him as we would have Him do for us. When our Lord is the most important love of our lives, doing whatever pleases Him becomes the most important action of our lives. We hallow Him when we treat Him as we love Him. 

He is in our midst, a consuming fire, and He longs to have our love, our worship, our praise. 

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, " 'Y OU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR G OD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'Y OU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' (Matthew 22:36-39 NASB)