6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: The 3rd commandment is one that requires us all to take a look at just how we use your tongue in daily living. And ask yourselves the questions, how are we using our tongue?

God’s Last Name is not D***

Exodus 20:7


In the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey, lives a certain variety of crane. These birds tend to make a lot of noise, especially while flying. And, all that noise gets the attention of eagles, which swoop down and seize them for a meal. The experienced cranes avoid this threat by picking up stones large enough to fill their mouths. This prevents them from making noise and from becoming lunch for the eagles. People have a problem with their mouths too. It seemed to me that this was an appropriate illustration to begin today’s sermon on the third commandment.

You see, on the front of every face in this room is a large opening called a mouth. In each mouth is a little organ called the tongue. The tongue, though relatively small when compared to the whole body, is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It must be! After all, man can split atoms, walk on the moon, construct enough weapons to destroy his world thousands of times over, yet he cannot seem to control his little tongue, according to James in James 3:8. I don’t know how you feel about it, but for me, few things are as disgusting as repulsive as a mouth spewing forth profanity and verbal ignorance.

A man names Alex Dunlap has written and published a tract entitles Ten Reasons Why I Swear. The purpose of the tract was to show how foolish swearing was. Here are the reasons he gives:

1. It pleases my mother so much

2. It is a fine mark of manliness

3. It proves I have self-control

4. It indicates how clearly my mind operates

5. It makes my conversation so pleasing to everyone

6. It leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind as to my good breeding.

7. It impresses people that I have more than an ordinary education.

8. It is an unmistakable sign of culture and refinement

9. It makes me a very desirable personality among women and children of culture and


10. It is my way of honoring God, who said, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord

in vain.”

Today we have come to the third commandment. It deals with something far more serious than just a filthy mouth. This commandment discusses the misuse, or profane use of God’s Holy Name. God’s name is a Holy name! It isn’t to be used unless it is used in connection with His praise or His proclamation. Sadly, to many it seems, God’s name is no more than a curse word. A by-word they can throw around at will.

Little Mary, attending Sunday School for the first time one Christmas season, eagerly listened as her teacher told of the birth of God’s Son. She thrilled to the story of the angels, wise men, the star, and the gifts. Then the teacher added, “Any they shall call His name Jesus.” She looked over at the person beside her and asked, “Why did they have to name such a sweet baby a sear word?” It was the first time that she had ever heard His name used outside of a curse! You know, kids just repeat what they hear! The girl’s mother was furious. ‘Young lady where did you learn to talk that way?’

“The girl hesitated, looked toward her father, and asked, ‘Well, Dad, should I tell her?’” We are literally surrounded by profanity. These statistics on television ought to cause us some alarm. Did you know: In one year’s time prime-time television airs 8,333 acts of violence, 14,313 incidents of sex, and 23,566 uses of profanity.

According to a Southern Illinois University study, Researchers monitored two weeks of prime time programming on NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX, and found that words that were once banned are now heard about once every five minutes on prime time television.

This morning, I want us to look into the third commandment and learn more about this matter of taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Exodus 20:7 reads, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”

I. God’s Name is a Sacred Name

God’s name is often misused and misspoken because it is misunderstood and not appreciated as it should be. Right now, I want to help us fully understand and appreciate this sacred name.

A. The Announcement of God’s Holy Name

• Names in the Bible usually revealed something about the person, his ancestry or his background. This is especially true in regard to the Name of God.

• In truth, God has chosen to reveal Himself to man through His Names.

• There are over 300 given in the Bible.

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