Rule 3: God’s Name | Daniel J. Koren's
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Rule 3: God’s Name

Posted by danieljkoren on September 8, 2011 in Viewpoints |

Thou shalt 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. (Exodos 20:7)

 

God told Israel, not to take His name in vain. Some observe this today, some go too far, and others don’t care.

Extreme misunderstanding

In an effort to be too religious, many Jewish teachers told people not to ever say the name of the Lord. They thought God’s name, Yahweh, was so sacred that it should never be spoken. They said you had to wash your clothes and take a bath before you wrote God’s name down. Bet it took forever to copy the Bible back in their day.

The damage done by this “never say God’s name” error is that no one ever spoke of the Lord. However, God said He would record the name of all those who spoke of Him to others so He could reward them (Malachi 3:16). Instead, we do not know how to pronounce the name of YHWH today because people thought it was wrong to speak His name at all!

If you read around the web, you will find Jewish and Christian-Jewish sights where the name of God is written “G-d” in imitation of the Hebrew language’s lack of vowels when writing God’s name. Somehow J-s-s and L-rd are supposed to be more reverent than just calling Him who He is.

What God meant by the rule

Clearly, the Lord did not intend for people to forget Him. He wanted us to talk about Him and call on His name in reverence. He wants us to use His name honorably in speech and writing.

Christians have distorted this rule

Even though Christians are not under the Law of Moses, we honor Him by not making light of His name. Too many Christians do not take this seriously, they say, “God!” or “O my God!” when they are surprised. They have even codified it into texting as OMG. You may even hear so-called believers say “Jesus” out of anger or shock. This is blasphemy. God’s people should not talk about Him flippantly as if He were just another dude on the street.

While the majority of true believers do not take God’s name in vain, many have learned irreverent habits of saying “Geez,” “Gosh,” “Holy Smoke,” and other phrases that mimic or come from the misuse of God’s name.

We need to keep close watch on our habits. Are we taking God for granted? Or are we making Him too distant? Make sure you are using His name correctly—go tell someone about Him.

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