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September 29, 2011

Third Commandment – 09.29.2011

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 5:14 pm

A bible study by Adam Osborne, JR.

Exodus 20:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Exodus 20:7
• “misuse” – shawv – emptiness, nothingness, vanity; emptiness of speech, lying; worthlessness (of conduct)
• “LORD” – yehôvâh – Jehovah = “the existing One”; the proper name of the one true God
Sunday’s sermon will include the following points:
1. The Commandment – do not misuse God’s name.
2. The Consequence – God will hold accountable those who misuse it
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that you will hold God’s holy name up on high and not bring reproach on it.

Read every day: Exodus 20:7

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
As the people of God, we are expected to worship and consider Him in all our ways and goings. When we openly declare our membership in God’s covenant people we essentially use His name whether we say it verbally or not. It permeates our actions. We are ambassadors, He is the King. Just as our name can be tarnished and it effects our reputation, so it is with our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

From John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible:
The third commandment is concerning the manner of our worship; Where we have a strict prohibition. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain – Supposing that, having taken Jehovah for their God, they would make mention of his name, this command gives a caution not to mention it in vain, and it is still as needful as ever. We take God’s name in vain, First, By hypocrisy, making profession of God’s name, but not living up to that profession. Secondly, By covenant breaking. If we make promises to God, and perform not to the Lord our vows, we take his name in vain. Thirdly, By rash swearing, mentioning the name of God, or any of his attributes, in the form of an oath, without any just occasion for it, but to no purpose, or to no good purpose. Fourthly, By false – swearing, which some think is chiefly intended in the letter of the commandment. Fifthly, By using the name of God lightly and carelessly. The profanation of the form of devotion is forbidden, as well as the profanation of the forms of swearing; as also, the profanation of any of those things whereby God makes himself known. For the Lord will not hold him guiltless – Magistrates that punish other offences, may not think themselves concerned to take notice of this; but God, who is jealous for his honour, will not connive at it. The sinner may perhaps hold himself guiltless, and think there is no harm in it; to obviate which suggestion, the threatening is thus expressed, God will not hold him guiltless – But more is implied, that God will himself be the avenger of those that take his name in vain; and they will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Leviticus 20
• v. 3 – “profane” – châlal – defile, pollute, desecrate: ritually or sexually
Bible Fellowship Time

Is your “good name” important to you? Why?
Have you ever misused, or heard someone else misuse the Lord’s name? In what ways?
Discussion questions:
1. How did the Israelites misuse God’s name? (have them cite Scripture examples)
2. How does God respond to those who curse his name in the Old Testament (Lev. 20:1-8)?
3. What does it mean to “profane” God’s name?
4. What is the temporal result of misusing God’s name?

Do we misuse or take God’s name in vain? When we say we will do something (such as pray for somebody), but do not, we are guilty of breaking the commandment. Have you ever done that? Thankfully we have the Lord Jesus who intercedes for us with God the Father and the Holy Spirit who leads us to obey God’s commandments. One of the integral marks of knowing God, and receiving salvation, is a spirit of confession and repentance. Have you misused God’s holy and blessed Name? Have you confessed it to God and repented? The Scriptures say that all will be held accountable for the words they say (Matt. 12:36) and that all things we do, speech or otherwise, are to be to the glory of God alone (1 Cor. 10:31). When we are careless in speech, especially as those who claim the name of Jesus Christ as savior, it does not bring glory to Him. We must consider our words carefully before speaking, but more importantly consider our own hearts.

What flows from your heart?

Careless words bringing dishonor to God’s Name? (Matt. 15:18-19)

Or “rivers of living water”? (John 7:38)

Closing Devotion

Thomas Watson, the English Puritan wrote:
“See the true note and character of a godly person: he is a sanctifier of God’s name. A true saint ambitiously endeavors to advance God’s name. The question he asks himself in everything he is going about is, Will this action tend to the honor of God’s name? Will it exalt God? It was Paul’s chief design that Christ might be magnified, that the crown upon his head might flourish. Phil 1: 20. A godly man thinks it scarce worth his while to live if he may not bring some revenues of honor to God’s name.”

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