What’s in a name? - Hope 103.2

What’s in a name?

By David ReayWednesday 25 Nov 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Exodus 20:7

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (NIV)

We sometimes conclude that our present society has no connection with God or with Jesus. So it is surprising that both God and Jesus figure so prominently in some conversations. Usually, however, they are thoughtless outbursts or blasphemous swearing. So sad to hear such significant names being used in such empty or bitter ways.

And yet this commandment wants us to go further. It possibly had reference to swearing insincere oaths in the name of God. So God is being used to further our own ends. Extending this, we must be careful not to misuse the seriousness and significance of God’s name in order to get what we want.

Praying ‘in Jesus name’ for our own self-centred ends is a misuse of the name. Perhaps we can even say that our glib use of ‘Lord’ is covered by this commandment. We use the word but the person behind the word might not be in the forefront of our mind.

Ultimately, this command is about taking God seriously and not dishonouring him. ‘Name’ in Scripture implies character. Much as we might speak of someone having ‘a good name’. Whenever we demean or trivialise or dishonour God’s character, we breach this commandment. Avoiding outright blasphemy does not put us in the clear.

Our God treats us justly and tenderly. We dare not treat him lightly.

David Reay

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