Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

03/10/2019 A.M.

 

WRITTENIN STONE

Holding God & His Name In Reverence & Honor

Exodus 20.1-17  Deuteronomy 5.6-22

 

We return to our study of the Ten Commandments... The Decalogue... Ten words... Ten Principles... Given at Mount Sinai.

 

It’s true that the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross... But the basic principles behind the Ten Commandments are still relevant today.

 

We’re not saying these principles tell us how to be saved... We are saying... This was and is God’s intent and purpose... It’s the way He wants us to live so that…

• We enjoy the good life...

• That all go well with us...

• That we live long in the land He has given us...

• And to have a good and proper relationship with him and others...

To do this… We must live by these principles.

 

The first principle was that in each human heart... There is a throne.

The question is... Who’s on the throne in our life?... Is it God?... Self?...Who?... What?

God wants our heart throne to be a single seat... Not a pew.

 

The principle from Sinai was no other Gods with Me or before Me... Loving Him with all our Heart... Mind... Strength... and Soul.

 

The second principle concerns who and how we worship.

Idolatry has always been forbidden... It’s an eternal principle.

The principle is No graven images... Nothing made in the likeness of something in the world... Or out of this world.

 

We are not to worship ANYTHING CREATED... Nothing created by us or by God.

 

Acts 17.29 sums it up well... Since we are God’s offspring... We should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone... Any image made by the art and imagination of man... Not things... Nature... Ideas... Kingdoms... Principalities... Powers... Physical or Spiritual.

 

An idol is anything tangible or intangible... That we place before God... Anything that would cause us to walk in ways that are in conflict with His intent or Will.

 

The shapes of idols have changed since the days of Israel at Sinai... But the eternal principle remains the same... God must be above all else in religion and lifestyle.

 

Now... This morning... Our third principle says that we are to reverence... Even the name of God... Thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

 

Let me give you the lesson in a nutshell... Taking the Lord’s name in vain is more a matter of the heart than the tongue.

 

What we think of God is all important... Because Scripture tells us that the tongue speaks of what is in the heart...

 

You see... The opposite of taking His name in vain is Holding His name Hallowed.

 

• Jesus taught us to honor this principle every time we pray... Hallowed be Thy Name.

 

• In Psalm 111.9... David proclaims His name to be Reverend and Holy... Modern speech translations say… Awesome and holy...

 

• Malachi 2.5 indicates that we are to stand in awe and reverence of His name.

 

• Revelation 11.18 speaks of a reward for those who reverence His Name.

 

So the question becomes what place does God occupy in my heart and yours?

 

If you will... Set these initial thoughts aside and let them soak as we explore

what this third Sinai Principle might mean to us this morning...

 

First... Let’s lay the foundation by examining the different translations

of the original Hebrew... What does this verse really say?...

 

Our King James reads... 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.

 

The NIV says... You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

 

NASV of 95... You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished.

 

NRSV... You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

 

The Living Bible Paraphrase reads... You shall not use the name of Jehovah your God irreverently... Nor use it to swear a falsehood. You will not escape punishment if you do.

 

The Amplified Bible says... You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain... That is use it lightly or frivolously... In false affirmation or profanely... For the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

 

The Jerusalem Bible... You shall not use the name of Yahweh your God to misuse it... Yahweh will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.

 

OK... What is forbidden by this third Sinai Principle?... We’ll note

three ways we misuse His Name… In Heart…On our lips… And by our behavior.

 

First and foremost... We take His name in vain with our heart.

 

Church...When we fail to give God His rightful place in our heart... Acknowledging... Him... Jesus... The Holy Spirit... For who they are... We are disobeying this command.

 

In Romans chapter one... Paul said the Gentiles of Jesus’ day were guilty of this.

 

Even though they knew God...

Even though He had shown Himself to them...

Even though they had perceived His invisible attributes... His eternal power and Divine Nature... Yet they failed to give Him His proper place… WHERE?.. in their heart.

 

They didn’t honor Him... But became futile in their thinking...Foolish in their hearts.

 

And Paul says...The repercussions of disobeying this third eternal principle was laid upon them... They became fools as God gave them up to the lust of their hearts to impurity to the dishonoring of their bodies... They exchanged the truth of God for a lie... and did dishonorable things.

 

Church... It is an ugly thing to not give God His rightful place in our heart… To dishonor him there.

 

The word translated VAIN in our King James... MISUSE in the NIV says God is... Useless... Trivial... FRIVOLOUS... Vain...Meaningless.

 

Taking God’s name in vain is... Blasphemy...IT’S Reducing... god... His name... And nature… to the trivial... Worthless... Without importance or purpose.

 

Listen church... When we verbally take God’s name in vain... When we live hypocritically... We can know that He has become trivial and meaningless in our hearts.

 

How do we know that?... Because the mouth... The tongue speaks... Our behavior... comes from the heart.

 

Like the Gentiles of Romans one… When God is no longer... Hallowed... Holy... Honored... Reverend... In our heart... We are liable to say and do anything… Our hearts and mind… Hearts and thinking become futile.

 

SecondlyTaking His name in vain... Blaspheming... Occurs with the tongue

 

Let’s consider some ways...

 

First... By cursing... Cursing is when weak people use strong words… When little people use strong words! They may think these ugly words make them strong and authoritative… they don’t!!... Scripture doesn’t support such an idea… Just the opposite!

 

Probably the most common of such cursing is using the phrase God-Damn. Such is a flippant disregard of God’s name and nature... It’s demeaning of His character.

 

God never damned anybody... We damn ourselves by our own… Attitudes... Words... and Behavior... Our own sin-failures condemn us.

 

Sometimes people excuse their behavior by saying... Well it just slipped out... I didn’t mean to say it…

 

Listen...Jesus said... It has to be present in the heart... Before it can be spokenwith the tongue and lips… So this excuse is not true… Just an attempt to excuse our heart condition.

 

We are not to use God’s name as an EXPLETIVE!

I am talking about such phrases as...

My God!!... or... O MY GOD!!... God almighty!!

For Christ sake!!... Jesus Christ!!

• Some use the word HOLY       !!... With any vulgarity attached to the end of it.

 

Here is something else we need to think twice about… That’s using such words as… Gosh-darn…Oh my gosh… Gee-wHiz… Etc.

 

Listen…Everybody knows what we mean… And that we’re only trying to clean up our speech by the use of euphemisms…

• In effect… It is still using God’s name in vain…

• It’s still belittling…

• Abusing…

• Trivializing…

His name… His nature… His character.

 

Can I say this and you not get upset with me?... Just as the names God gives us for Himself reveAls volumes about Him... The way we use His NAME reveAls much about us.

• To some of us... Such language speaks of our ignorance...

• To others of us... It speaks of our disrespect of the One who created us and saves us.

But...But... We must know that God condemns both in this eternal Sinai principle.

 

Thirdly...We must not trivialize God’s name by using it as a CLICHÉ.

Such seemingly innocent phrases as...

•Praise God... Praise the Lord...

•For God or Heaven’s sake...

•God is my witness...

•God help me...

Church...When we use these phrases with regularity... They become a byword... Rather than a praise or prayer.

 

We must give some thought to this... God’s name is not a CLICHÉ... His name is not to be used or called upon lightly... But soberly!... With proper thought and meaning.

 

Another misuse of God’s name is found in false or trIvIal oaths.

Listen to this found in Leviticus 19.12... Do not swear falsely by my name... And so profane the name of your God.

 

Jesus warned in His Sermon On The Mount... Do not swear at all... Simply let your‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from Satan.

 

The Jews of Jesus’ day were guilty of swearing... And then not keeping their word. They taught that if one swore by the earth... You didn’t have to keep your oath...But if you swore by the Temple or Heaven... You were duty bound to keep your promise…Your vow.

 

God is forbidding the use of His name and His Holy Things being used to give legitimacy to promises we make.

 

Next... We note that we use God’s name in vain by the way we live.

We are not to wear His name in Hypocrisy... Claiming to be Christian... But not living the life... Walking the walk... Talking the talk...Not being like him.

 

Jesus spoke of those who called Him by name... Lord... Lord... But refused to obey His commands.

 

We are profaning His name??...

• When we sing... Blest Be The Tie... But gossip and slander our brother and neighbor.

 

• When we sing... Have Thine Own Way Lord... And then go about living in total disregard of His will?

 

• When we sing... Take Time To Be Holy... And then never take time to read our Bibles?... Pray?... Come to Evening Services?... Be found serving the Jesus in others?... Or meditating upon God… His will and way in our life?

 

You see… To wear His name is something special... And we… misuse… Trivialize… Abuse…Blaspheme… His Name… When we live hypocritically.

 

I remember being awestruck several years ago... When President Obama was speaking before the organization... Planned Parenthood... A passionate advocate of abortion... Killing babies for selfish reasons.

 

When Obama ended his speech... He said... I thank you for your work... And may God Bless you… WOW!!

 

The president was tying the Name of God with the work of Satan.

This is a direct violation of this third Sinai Principle.

 

In fact... Leviticus 18.21 specifically says... Those who offer their... Children... Babies... To the fires of the God Molech profane the name of God.

 

Here it is… Scripture teaches that how we treat… children… babies… is how we treat God.

 

We cannot claim to belong to Jehovah God... And live a lie… Hypocritically… When we do... We violate this eternal principle... Amen?

 

Well... Let’s close our lesson by noting some ways we can...

honor... Hallow... reverence... The Name of God...

 

By exalting His name... O Lord, our Lord... How excellent... How majestic... Is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

 

By glorifying Him... Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His Name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

 

Approaching His throne in reverence... Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

 

Acknowledging there is no other name to save us... Acts 4.12… Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved... Romans 10.13… Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

By understanding that one day all will honor His name... At the name of Jesus every knee will bow... Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...

 

Indeed... Scripture lets us know that we must never forget the importance of His Name… But hold it to be… Holy…Set apart… different… Above all others.

 

Well... We’ve gotta stop... As we do... We note again that the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

 

Jesus says... Every word will be brought into judgment... And we will be justified... Or condemned...By them.

 

But there is the Good News... Forgiveness is available...

 

• Paul says to Timothy... Even though I was once… A blasphemer... A persecutor...And a violent man... I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

 

• Isaiah 1.18 reads.... Come now... Let us reason together... Says the Lord. Though your sins are as scarlet... They shall be as white as snow... Though they are red as crimson... They shall be like wool.

 

If you are not a child of God... You can experience the forgiveness of your sins by becoming a Christian by... Faith... Repentance... And New Testament Baptism.

 

John tells us that... As children of God... We can enjoy His forgiveness by confession of our wrongs... Acknowledgment of our sins.

 

If we are guilty of this Sinai Principle this morning... Make it right... Apologize to God ask forgiveness.

 

Perhaps we need the prayers of the church to help us deal with misuse of His Name... We are ready to pray with you and for you as we stand and sing this song together.