TAKING THE LORD’S NAME IN VAIN

…they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. —Revelation 16:9

People… cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. —Revelation 16:11

…they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. —Revelation 16:21

“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). I have heard people take the Lord’s Name in vain on the basketball court, in the workplace, in the neighborhood, on school campuses. My ears have heard both rich and poor, educated or uneducated, agnostics and atheists take the Lord’s Name in vain. People use God’s Name in vain, but they also use His Son’s Name, Jesus, in vain. There is no other name that you will hear used in this manner. People punctuate their sentances with the Name of Jesus when they get mad or just in general conversation. Why do they use His Name like this when they do not believe in Him? Actually, they are in rebellion and speaking against Him. God’s Word tells us not do use His Name this way, but people are guilty before God of doing so.

In the above sentances people curse God and His Name because of the judgments coming upon them. They curse Him instead of repenting of their sins. Some things just never change. You have those who honor the Lord God Almighty and you have those who curse Him. There are those who desire to live for God out of the gratitude of their hearts. They understand what Jesus did for them at the cross and have repented from their sins and are seeking to faithfully follow Him. They know that all things were created and are sustained by Him and they take joy in that. Then there are those who are ungrateful to Him. They rebel against Him and seek to do what they want to do and to believe what they want to believe. It is not enough for them not to believe in Him, but they see the need to speak against Him and use His Name in vain.

There is a great line in the movie God Is Not Dead. The freshman in college, Josh, is having a debate with his philosophy professor and asks, “Why do you hate God.” The professor says, “Yes, I hate God and everything about Him.” Then this line is one to ponder. Josh says, “How can you hate someone you do not believe in?” How true this is about people who take the Name of Jesus in vain or curse Him. Why do they do this if they do not believe in Him? It is because of their rebellion against God. They are not being obedient to Him according to Exodus 20:7 mentioned above. They are being disobedient to His Word and are guilty before God for doing so.

May we not take His Name in vain. This is not only done in speech, but it can also be done by the way we live. People who claim to know Him and then they live contrary to His ways are also taking His Name in vain. May we both speak and live in such a way to honor His Name.

Dear Father, may I honor the Name of Jesus by what I say and do. Oh, that I would not make myself out to be something I am not. May I be honest and transparent, knowing I am far from perfect, but also desiring to become more of what You desire me to be. Thank You, Jesus, for dying for my sin, taking my punishment in my place. I do desire to show my gratitude by faithfully following You. May it be so.

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