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 (Deuteronomy 5:11, KJV).
How easily the name of God is spoken in off-handed, thoughtless and most casual of ways! How frequently the name of God is used flippantly to emphasize a point or endlessly and randomly inserted almost as punctuation to change the course of a thought or to start or end a sentence or a story. Then there are the bitter and angry sequences that use the name of God as a rebuking and damning condemnation as if the speaker can decide for God judgment on other people.
All of this vain speaking using of the name of God makes genuine believers in God, sad and uncomfortable as they hear it happen or leaves them feeling the sting of guilt if they slip up and fall into an occasion of sinning in this way. It should and must be noted that it is a serious and dangerous thing to take the “Name of God” in vain (Leviticus 24:15-16) as God’s Word proclaims the most serious of judgments as coming to those that practice this sin. Yet the commandment is much broader than most care to consider.
It is a sin to mock Almighty God. It is just as much a sin to appropriate God’s name as a token banner over a personal pursuit that has nothing to do with the will or ways of God. This is blasphemy and although that word is virtually unknown in our language, the false teachers and leaders that are using God’s name in vain are very much in danger of His judgment.
Anything that is spoken or done to diminish God’s place of sovereignty, power, majesty and glory is to use or take His Name in vain. Anything that is spoken or done to diminish the name of Christ as the Savior of the world is to take His Name in vain.
It is an amazing thing to be given life by God’s grace, how can we not realize and be ever grateful for the “Precious Name” by which we have our very breath of life. It is an amazing thing to be redeemed from our sin and our words and deeds should never become vain, disrespectful or voiding in their manner, when only praise is due our God! What God gives us, is precious beyond words and His precious “Name” deserves nothing less than our utmost worship and praise.
“Give unto the Lord, … give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:1-2 KJV).
“Don’t desire with obsession the things of your neighbor and do not be consumed with possessing the affections of the spouse of your neighbor,” (Deuteronomy 5:21, Paraphrased).
Why are the things that others around us possess so appealing to our human heart? Why those things seem better and glitter like gold to our eyes as they consume our attention and poison our minds? How is it, that we can be consumed with the beauty, charm or physical attractions of the spouses of our neighbors?
To desire something or someone so strongly that determined and obsessive actions follow with the intent to possess something or someone is deadly because the coveting leads to sin and sin leads to destruction and death. Coveting is the tainted well of the human heart from which comes the poisoned water of obsessive selfish desire that when consumed as sin leaves sickness and death as its consequences. Still, coveting is almost never talked about and is seldom even considered a sin in the lives of most people.
Numerous examples of coveting becoming sin and leaving heartache, pain and even death in its wake are found in Bible from the beginning until the end. Coveting and the greed that comes along with it, leads to manipulation, conniving and stealing with dreadful consequences.
Coveting is not innocent and even if it sneaks into our life in the form of ambition, lust, gain and greed, it can become toxic and deadly. Coveting is dangerous because it takes us beyond desire into sin. The Commandments of Moses leave little doubt about coveting as the clearly state that God’s people should not covet! The opposite of coveting is contentment in the love of God as you rest and live in God’s provision and blessing; trusting Him in all things!
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13, NKJV)
O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, NLT)
The walk through many of the days of our lives is oft made more problematic and challenging not by the circumstances of the day but by our choices in each particular day. Of course, one must acknowledge challenges and problems can and will come on any given day and those must be dealt with using faith and fortitude but what about the neglected matter of often choosing not to step into the faith we might so righteously claim is so important to our lives.
Faith is not something to be claimed like an award, at various moments in our lives. Faith is the vital dynamic action of believing and stepping into what is around us and what is unknown before us with our hearts and minds anchored in God’s love and truth while trusting God’s ways will be right and His blessing will follow us as we obey.
What is good in our lives always originates from God and yet we neglect Him and His ways with regularity, choosing instead the easily manipulated and malleable foolishness of our own human emotion, self-centered will and aggrandized intellect.
Oh, that we would see the light of God’s truth and stay on His pathways that will always lead to life and blessing. What contentment we abandon in our hearts when we fail to do what is right and just according to His Word. What joy we forfeit when we fail to love and implement mercy and grace in our involvement with those around us. What peace evaporates and vanishes from our lives when pride inflates and escalates our self-importance at the expense of the truth of our real deficiencies and need of God’s saving and redeeming grace.
I leave you with a simple prayer … “Wonderful Heavenly Father, help me to be thankful and rest with full assurance that everything good comes from you! Give me a contented and courageous heart to always do what is right according to your Word and your Spirit. Help me to love the mercy and grace that saves me through Jesus Christ and help me to freely give it to all of those around me. And Dear Father, let me walk, in all my days … forever and truly humble in my need of you and full of praise for your steadfast love in and on my life. Amen.”
Suggested Reading … Micah 6