Scriptural Gem for June 2011

In Exodus 20:7 we read: 'You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name". For the most part people have understood this to mean that one should not use God's name as a swear word or swear falsely by God's name. However, the meaning runs much, much deeper than that. The KJV reads as follows: "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".
This takes us a bit closer to the real meaning of the Hebrew word 'Nasa' which means 'to take up, to carry, to bear'.  (See also Exodus 28:29). The Hebrew word for 'vanity' is 'Shav' which means 'emptiness, nothingness'

So, the verse literally reads: "You may not take up or bear the name of the Lord with no effect, emptiness, nothingness". This is further clarified by the following verses in Ezekiel 36: 22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. 24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!

From the above passage it is clear that for the sake of His Name which will otherwise be profaned (made common, of no power), God 1: cleanses, 2: removes the heart of stone and gives a heart of flesh, 3: puts His spirit in them, 4: moves them to follow His decrees. These elements must first be present before we can take up/bear the Name of the Lord Jesus. If this has not happened in our lives, we dare not take up/bear his Name, or his Name will surely be profaned also in our lives. So many people just take up/bears (calls themselves) the name "Christian" without a second thought...The warning in Exodus 20:7 is clear - He will not hold anyone guiltless who does this.  Do your complete work in us Lord, that we may not profane your Name! Amen.

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