Whenever I go to a dental meeting, I always hope to gain one or two pearls from the meeting. If I do learn one or two things, then I consider the meeting worthwhile for my time and money spent. My friend Dr. Joe David Smith, says that he gets nuggets from God’s Word. While preparing for Sunday school class one week, I got a nugget from God’s Word.
The Bible says in Exodus 20:7, “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” And I know what you might be thinking. That means not to use the Lord’s name in profanity. You are partly correct. It actually means much more than that.
The Lord’s name is to be respected and reverenced at all times. I find that today, we use the Lord’s name flippantly. We say, “Oh my God” when something bad happens. We text OMG to our friends. I have heard people say “Jesus Christ” when something goes amiss. And these are just a few of the ways that we do not respect that Lord’s name. We have simply lost our “awe” for Him.
As I began to study more about this verse, I began to learn more about it. We have already discussed two ways that we take the Lord’s name in vain. But there is a third way that we take the Lord’s name in vain. The Hebrew word for “shall not take” is ‘nasa’. This word means to bear up or to carry. The Hebrew word for “name” is shem. This word means the authority and the character of the One that name is referencing. And name is referring to Jehovah, the proper name of the one true God. “In vain,” means worthlessness, emptiness, and nothingness in the Hebrew language.
I know that this is only the first half of the verse, but the Hebrew language makes this verse mean much more. Now, I can see how I shouldn’t carry the Lord’s character and authority with worthlessness or emptiness. You may be asking how can I do that. Well, Jesus died for us on a cross, rose the third day, and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. But He sent His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. So when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we carry Him with us wherever we go. Also, when He comes to live in our hearts, the Bible says that the same power that raised Him from the dead lives in us. So, we have the power (character and authority) of a Holy God living in us.
So, in my limited understanding of God’s word, I shall not carry the Lord’s name in a worthless manner.
And lastly, we do not need to forget the last part of that verse. It says “…, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.” I know that we are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and that our sins are forgiven. However, we have an awesome responsibility to be able to “Carry the Lord with us wherever we go.” I personally do not take this commandment lightly and I hope that you do not either.
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