In this week’s message we look at God’s third word to His people: “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Names are a big deal, particularly names in the ancient world. Far from being simple identifying labels, a name stood for the whole person: their character, reputation, and relationship to others. God’s Name is no exception.
This commandment is a stern warning to not misuse God’s Name by swearing false oaths, trying to invoke curses for personal reasons, or conducting wrongdoing or sorcery in God’s Name. The very fact that God’s Name can be misused implies a great promise: there is great power in God’s Name for His people. So, what are the proper uses of His Name?
We can think of the power of God’s Name under three main categories: worship, witness, and work. It’s a proper use of God’s Name to use it in bringing Him praise and in seeking Him in prayer (worship). There is also great power in God’s Name as we bear witness to the saving work of Jesus Christ. Finally, all our work (both ministry work and vocational work) should be done in the Name of the Lord, for His glory.
Questions to consider:
1. Have I dishonored God’s Name in my speech, attitude, or conduct?
2. Am I expecting God to bless something in my life that is out of alignment with His character, will, or commands?
3. Am I glorifying God’s Name by my worship, witness, and work?