“There’s Just Something About That Name”
* Tonight we have sung the Gaither’s Song “There’s just something about that Name” This morning we sang there is strength in the name of the Lord, there is hope in the name of the Lord, there is power in the name of the Lord. A name is a special thing. It is our identity. Think of the well-known names of our generation; Kennedy, Reagan, Eisenhower, etc.
* In Bible days, a name carried a meaning and a message. When Hosea named his kids, his names were indicative of his feelings. His first son was named – Jezreel which means “God’s Sows”. Then Gomer conceived and bore a daughter which Hosea named Lo-ruhamah, which means “no mercy” (at this point, Hosea “thinks” may have returned to her old ways of immorality. Then the third baby comes along and he names HIM “Lo-ammi” which means “not my own”. Imagine the shame of carrying the name “no my own” for your entire life. Hosea was sure this child did not belong to him and named him accordingly. There is indeed something about a name.
* In this sense, there is something special indeed about the name of God. God is determined for His creation to honor & respect His name, thus we read the third commandment. TEXT
1) THE COMMAND FOR HANDLING THE NAME
* We being with an understood subject. The sentence begins with a verb so “you” is the understand subject. This makes it personal. Some of the older translations say “thou.”
* The word NOT is a Hebrew modifier which strongly redirects the statement to a negative, absolute prohibiting, with no room for misunderstanding. This is a command!
* Our text employs the word Misuse while the KJV says the familiar “In Vain.” The Hebrew indicates these thoughts: empty, flippantly, falsehood, lying, deception, worthlessness, and maybe lightly. It’s saying “watch out.”
* The object of this thought is “the Name” and the way we use it. Why is God so sensitive about His name? The same reason you are sensitive about YOUR name? It speaks of WHO WE are and who HE is. When someone speaks YOUR name, there are at least 3 thought in play. They are; your reputation, character, and/or your authority. Consider the names in text.
* 2 Names for God in this text.
* Yahweh (Jehovah) (YHVH) which literally means the self-existent or eternal God.
* Elohiym which means God, Ruler, or the Supreme one.
* Why or how do we misuse or “vainly” use His wonderful name?
* This is unbelievable - Several ways; PROFANITY would head the list. Sometimes, this is the only thing we think of because it is so prevalent in our society. It is like an epidemic, a “creeping paralysis which has the ability destroy civiliza-tion.” Think about what public profanity has done in our society in the last 30 years. Civility & decency are almost a thing of the past. In 12 months we are told that TV more than 24,000 uses of profanity. Our culture has bought into this as reality.
* Believers have seemingly accepted this as the normal way of life. I read this;
* Ill. A man named Alex Dunlap has written and published a tract entitled 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 refinement.
10) It is my way of honoring God, who said, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain."
* This is Unbiblical - The Bible tells us how to live and talk. Submit, profanity is not the way of life for a true, born-again, child of God.
* Adrian Rogers used to say, “when you use profanity, you demonstrate 2 things: an empty head & wicked heart.”
* Warren Wiersbe “what’s down in the well, comes up in the bucket.”
* Know what the implications are for a person to use profanity? That they are unsaved.
* This is Ungodly - Can you imagine Jesus being profane? Can you imagine Him misusing God’s name in any manner? When we think about this, profanity is only one issue. Think:
* How about Intimidation? God Told ME! Now, don’t get me wrong, God still speaks and tells us, but the warning is clear to not attribute to God something that He didn’t say.
* How about to Impress? This is when we use the name of God as a badge to gain honor or favor with someone.
* How about Impulsively? Without thinking, without any meaning, without any consideration we say, “My God” or “O God” and we use the name of God lightly. Matthew 15 tells us we can even misuse the name of God in our worship. “They honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”
2) THE CONSEQUENCE FOR ABUSING THE NAME
* Ex 20:7 Thou dost not take up the name of Jehovah thy God for a vain thing, for Jehovah acquitteth not him who taketh up His name for a vain thing. (YLT) According to the text, the Lord will punish and not exempt or pardon.
* Matthew Henry –calls God an “avenger” of those who take His name in vain. I’ll submit to you there are 2 types of consequence given.
* Temporal Consequences – One commentary calls such hypocrite, fool, & more which is like lost
* Eternal Consequences – Scriptures say this one will face God’s judgment & be declared guilty.
3) THE CARE FOR THE WONDERFUL NAME
* If we are told to not misuse the name and additionally are told of the power, authority, and hope found in the name, does it not stand to reason, that we should USE PROPERLY the name of our God. It’s not just about “defending” His name, it’s about making His name prevalent in our lives. It’s kind of like the Armor of God, we need to wear it, honor it, and live like we mean it.
* We are to lift it up and take it SERIOUSLY. Sometimes we take this way too lightly.
* C.R. Smith was one of the founders of American Airlines, and he once made a stopover in Nashville, Tennessee. When he did, he found two desks in the American Airlines corridor of the airport. On one, a phone was ringing away. Sitting at the other, with his feet propped up, was a man reading the newspaper. Smith walked up to him and said, “Your phone is ringing.”
“That’s reservations. I’m maintenance,” the man replied.
Furious, Smith walked over to the desk, picked up the phone, and began talking to a man who urgently needed to get to California. Smith rattled off the schedule from memory to the man and hung up. The man from maintenance couldn’t believe it! “Say, that was pretty good!” he said. “Do you work for American?” “Yes, I do,” Smith answered. “And you used to.”
* What if God expected of us what C.R. Smith expected of HIS employee? HE DOES!
* Consider this: The third command without the “not,” what would it mean? How do we take the name of the Lord? Do people equate us with the “NAME?” We sing “there is power in the name, what does that mean? Like Acts 3? Do not take the name in Vain or Misuse the name, there is just something about that name.