July 12, 2009

A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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July 12, 2009

Post by millipede » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:34 am

Matthew 22:36-40
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Today we'll look at how the above passage applies to the following verse from the 10 commandments.
Exodus 20:7
7 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.

I did a little researching on this commandment trying to get a better understanding of it. What I found were some interesting and varying opinions. One person wrote that using the Lord's name in vain meant doing things in God's name that He didn't actually authorize. For example; saying that God told you to do something when He didn't. That sort of thing.
I guess there's many different ways a person can take that phrase. What does it mean to take the name of God in vain? I'm not sure I'm confident enough to say that I know with all certainty what this phrase applies to. If you ask me though, it applies to any and ALL misuses of God's name. One person even wrote that saying God bless you after someone sneezes is just as bad as saying something else that sounds similar but not as nice. I tend to agree. People started saying God bless you after someone sneezes because they thought that evil spirits came out of the body when someone sneezed. Kind of a silly superstition if you ask me. And does God bless people when they sneeze? Did God tell you to utter those words when someone sneezed? Basically it is a vain and empty repetition. It's meaningless to say that after someone sneezes. And in my opinion God's name should never be used in a meaningless manner. In fact, the word vain kind of means meaningless. Things that are vain are pretty much pointless. They don't accomplish things.
If you look up the term vain or "in vain" you might find the following:
vain (vn)
adj. vain·er, vain·est
1. Not yielding the desired outcome; fruitless: a vain attempt.
2. Lacking substance or worth: vain talk.
3. Excessively proud of one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited.
4. Archaic Foolish.
in vain
1. To no avail; without success: Our labor was in vain.
2. In an irreverent or disrespectful manner: took the Lord's name in vain.

I was not there when this text was written. I do not know what was implied at the time or what the exact translation is. What I do know is that ANY of the above uses of God's name would be disrespectful. How do you want your name used? If someone used your name in any way that would seem disrespectful, you probably wouldn't like it. That would include using your name as a swear or insult. It would likely include using your name in a manner that would imply that you gave someone permission when you did not. Anything that would hurt your name or take away from it, you probably wouldn't be ok with. But, there's so many ways we just toss around God's name that we might want to think about a bit more.
And no offense to anyone reading this but, God's name is a bit more important than ours. Some people today still will not even speak the name Yahweh. Some believe that God's true name is too holy for us to speak.
The name of Jesus even is considered holy. In Philippians 2 it says "at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow......" That's power.
God and Jesus... So Holy, so powerful... They deserve our respect and that includes their name.

So how does all of this apply to the passage from Matthew? Pretty simple I think. We are to love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul. We are to love Him completely. I don't believe we are being very loving when we toss His name around carelessly. We are to treat others as ourselves and there are times when we don't even treat God the way we want to be treated.
I was watching this movie called "Time Changer". This guy from the late 1800's ends up visiting the late 1900's. He goes to a movie with a church group and not long into the movie he comes running out screaming to stop the movie because someone just used the Lord's name in vain. How many of us get offended when we hear such utterances? How many of us are guilty of this sin ourselves?
Whether you chose to live by the 10 commandments or the new testament law it is clear that we are to love God with all that is in us and in loving Him I believe He should be honored and respected.

Dear Lord I thank you for today. I thank you for the bright sunshine I see out my window. Lord I pray that I would take you and your name more seriously. I pray that I would do nothing to offend you or that would hurt your name. I pray that in all I do I would show you the love you deserve. Thank you for loving me even when I fall short in loving you.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
- Job 12:7

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