” Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7
From the time I was a small child in Sunday School, I had heard this commandment, not to use God’s name in vain. I could pick up on someone across the room using His name in vain and wondered why they would do such a thing. My mind was finger pointing as you can see. Where they not taught? Did they dare to speak of a Mighty God in such a way?
Reading “It’s Not About Me” by Max Lucado enlightened me to make a deeper connection of the third commandment. I find myself guilty after reading the following story of upholding this commandment. Max Lucado in latter part of the book tells about meeting up with a Jewish man on a trip he took. The man told him to think of the commandment as a lifestyle and not language.
He told Max Lucado, “The command calls us to elevate God to the highest place. We exist to give honor to his name. He went on to give him an example, which I will summarize and quote directly at times. A man owned a high rise and has a daughter. The daughter in the first scenario took advantage of her position will working for her father and demanded of people who were at work certain privileges’ like demanding a Danish of a worker on duty. The worker did as he was asked but perceived that “if the daughter was so bossy, what does that say about her father?” Next she goes to a secretary who is very busy and demands she vacuums her office carpet, which makes the secretary question the wisdom of the father. The daughter never mentioned the dad’s name but the workers perceived that it came from the father. “They had not seen the father but they know his child thus they know the father.”
The teacher then gave a second scenario, what if instead of demanding that the daughter brought a muffin to the first person. What if the daughter had helped with the secretary with her work. Max Lucado went on to say, “Paul another rabbi, would have appreciated the point. He wrote: ‘We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us’ (2 Corinthians 5: 20). The ambassador has a singular aim – to represent his king. He promotes the king’s agenda, protects the king’s reputation, and presents the king’s will. The ambassador elevates the name of the king.”
The rabbi then concludes the story for the second scenario. The daughter takes an elevator to the top story of the building to see her father. He says six words to her. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
9 thoughts on “Third commandment:”
Rena, that does give one pause to see how we are honoring the NAME in our lifestyle and demeanor. I may not say “Jesus” or “God” in an exclamatory way in some trivial situation or problematic episode or as an expletive, but how I conduct myself, a publicly, self-professed Christian woman, surely bespeaks that NAME loud and clear to those around me. And that is either for honor or for disrespect.
“TAKE THE NAME OF JESUS WITH YOU…PRECIOUS NAME, OH HOW SWEET HOPE OF EARTH AND JOY OF HEAVEN” summarizes the treasure that is the NAME of JESUS.
Jesus in His Name. How would others know our relationship with Him or get to know Him if someone does not tell them?
I don’t think they will. At least that’s been the case in my life. I haven’t seen anyone come to know the Lord or accept Him as their Savior by observing me or what I do.
Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” So that means I need to open my mouth and talk to them about Jesus.
“And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (vs 14)
In the NT many times when Jesus performed miracles, including his first one, He used people to help him. When he turned the water into wine he told the servants fill the water pots, and another unwrap Lazarus. Max said, “The command calls us to elevate God to the highest place.” I see and understand do as servants what we have been told and commanded to do from the Word of God and the miracle power will flow.
Jesus is the miracle power and we are the servants to fill the big old heavy water pots, unwrap grave clothes, vacuum, clean, tell, etc. Hey, people Jesus and HIs ways are simple everyday chores. He gives the Word and we do the serving.
” Well done, Good and faithful servants” that is what we are hoping that Jesus will say to us when we stand before Him…”The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'” (Matthew 25:23). Now Jesus did not say that the master said in the parable, ” good and faithful assistant, good and faithful leader, good and faithful Bishop, pope, cardinal, pastor (altho He MAY say that to each individual at the Bema Seat) but it will be their servitude, what they DID to serve, to do the deeds and acts of the Kingdom that preclude that blessing from the Lord Jesus Christ at judgment. Vacuum, clean, give, cook, haul, sweep, dust, plant, harvest….all these are the works of the Body of Christ that prepare and make the conditions right to bring many into the House of the Lord.
Even the Disciple James and the Apostle Paul, as revered as they were in the early church, ….even they called themselves bond-servants of Jesus Christ.
Sara says that Jesus uses people. He works His miracles through humbled and
available “servants” who are willing to put Him before gratifying the flesh and to do the works of the Kingdom…servants of the living GOD.
Read with me the footnotes, from the Life Application Study Bible, for the verse in Exodus 20: 7. “God’s name is special because it carries his personal identity. Using it frivolously or in a curse is so common today that we may fail to realize how serious it is. The way we use God’s name conveys how we really feel about him. We should respect his name and use it appropriately, speaking it in praise or worship rather than in curse or jest. We should not take lightly the abuse or dishonor of his name.”
How about when we use God’s name in error to quote the scripture the way we want to see it to get what we want or make others believe it?
I John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
It would seem to me if we always followed number 1, all others would easily follow…1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me”
You must be right about the ‘follow’. I was thinking that if we are in a submissive relationship to the Lord He promised this: ” I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”(Heb 8:10 NLT). If we have a heart for the Lord as #1, then it must be a soft heart that can easily be written on and then retrieved by the Holy Spirit when we to recall and do (or don’t do).
Needles wrote above, of “abusing” the Name of Jesus. That made me start to think of how, as Sara pointed out, we misquote Scripture or take it out of context to suit our flesh. But also, how we say that the LORD told us to do something. The LORD showed me this, or that; The LORD said or spoke to my heart..etc. when we want to do something that our flesh desires. I truly believe the Lord DOES speak to our hearts and minds by His Holy Spirit. I am not talking about that. But, when we decide we want to do something, we USE or rather AB-USE the Lord and Holy Spirit as an excuse to do something when we probably know deep down inside our spirits that it is our flesh and not the LORD who desires a certain thing or action. So, perhaps, it is better to just say….I want to do this or that, if we are going to refuse to petition the Lord FIRST before we make a move. At least we won’t be lying and we will not AB-USE the KING OF HEAVEN AND EARTH for our own purposes.