Summary: Learning the right way to use the name of the Lord in our every day life.
Good morning. We are continuing our series on “Values That Make A Difference.”
Today, we are talking about “The Proper Use of God’s Name” or “Thou shalt not use the Lord’s name in vain.”
God doesn’t want us to not misuse it, but wants us to learn how to use it and use it properly. That’s the positive aspect of this commandment.
Paul Dickinson has a book written, called, “NAMES” short and sweet. He has this hobby of collecting actual names, though they’re strange and unusual. He says there’s names that seem to be sometimes prophetic. So, I’m going to give you some examples, these are real names from his book, “NAMES”.
Joe Bunt became a baseball coack.
Dan Druff became a barber.
Jeff Treadwell became a podiatrist.
Then two men, Mr. Goforth and Mr. Ketchum became police officers and actually became partners (can you imagine: who do we send? Send Goforth and Ketchum)
Two other men became partners in church equipment, Mr. O’Neill and Mr. Pray. (love that)
Will Crumble became a plaster contractor.
And, Mr. P.P. Peters became a urologist.
True stuff, real names, what can I say.
But, when it comes to God’s name, what’s the big deal. Well, I’ll tell you what the big deal is, God says His name is a big deal.
He says, “take My name seriously!”
Look at how God feels about His name as we read this commandment from Exodus 20:7 aloud together, ready…
Text: Exodus 20:7 (NKJV) “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
He’s saying, “Don’t misuse My name. Don’t abuse My name. Don’t take it light or for granted or use it thoughtlessly or flippantly or degradingly. Learn the proper use of My name and then use it well!”
It sounds as though God is just as serious about this Commandment as He is about all the other nine.
You see, God knows what’s in a name. God knows a name represents one’s reputation, one’s character, and one’s authority. Reputation. Character. Authority. Doesn’t matter what we’ve done with names, this is what God intended from the very beginning.
You’ve heard the phrase, “Boy that guy’s really made a name for himself.” What does that mean? “He’s making a reputation for himself.”
Then for character, you know in the Bible when a person changed their character from bad to good, their life was changed so God gave them a new name. Abram became Abraham. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter.
In fact, the Bible says when we get to heaven, we’ll all be given a new name.
There’s an old song called, “There’s A New Name Written Down in Glory And It’s Mine, Oh Yes It’s Mine”
How many of you have heard that song? (kind of gave away your age, but that’s OK)
There’s something in a name in God’s perspective. So, we want to catch His perspective especially in terms of using His name.
When it comes to authority. Police used to say to criminals who were running away from the law: “Stop in the name of the law!”
Now, the law doesn’t have a name, like Fred or George or Bob.
What they’re saying is: “I have the authority of the law to command you to stop. Stop not in my name, but in the name of the law that I represent. I have the authority to command you to stop.”
There’s so much authority in a name that we just sometimes take for granted.
If you’re eating dinner, and George Brown calls you, you might let the answering machine pick it up, and finish your dinner and call him back later.
But, if you’re eating dinner and George Bush calls you, you might go ahead and interrupt that dinner and pick it up regardless of your political persuasion. Why? Because there is a difference between the names “Brown” and “Bush” when you hear “George” in front of it.
There’s just a difference. There’s an authority that comes with that name.
It represents authority. God wants us to recognize His reputation, His character, and His authority, and not use His name in anyway that is inconsistent with the truth about who God is. Let’s look at…
I. HOW IS THIS COMMANDMENT BROKEN?
The most common way is probably…
1. Using God’s name to insult.
God does not want His name to be used in the cursing and swearing and insulting of others. Don’t abuse His name. Whether it’s people or animals or whatever it might be. To use His name in a cursing way, of course, is wrong.
Now along time ago farmers used wagons to work the fields and they still do that in some areas of this country to this day. They’d come home at sundown. I heard about a farmer who was late coming home to dinner well after dark. His wife said to him: WELL DID THE WAGON BREAK DOWN? The farmer said: NO, ON THE WAY HOME I SAW THE MINISTER WALKING SO I PICKED HIM UP AND FROM THAT POINT ON THE MULE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND A WORD I WAS SAYING.