The Name of God — A LifeWords Devotion - Hope 103.2

The Name of God — A LifeWords Devotion

In the same way that we should not use God's Name lightly, we are also commanded to not use our relationship with God for our own personal gains.

By David ReayFriday 11 Dec 2020LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 2 minutes

Deuteronomy 5:11

“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. (NLT)

This commandment is usually taken as a warning against blasphemy. Saying the word “Jesus” or “Christ” or “God” in a light hearted or offensive way. And we can certainly agree that blasphemy is something to be avoided.

But this is to miss the meaning of this commandment. The “name” of God in the Bible is a reference to his revealed character, much as we might say that someone has a good name in the community. So when we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray according to his character. When we believe in the name of God, we are saying we trust in the sort of God he is.

The people of Israel had been given the privilege of knowing God’s name which we translate as Jehovah. But even that was not just a proper name as in modern usage. It is a reference to the sort of God he will reveal himself to be. They are being warned not to abuse that privilege by using the actual name as some sort of magic spell. Or more generally, not to use their relationship with God to get power or self-advancement.

We are not to seek to control him so we achieve our own ends. We are not to use him to get rich or successful or popular or powerful. He is not some cosmic magician who we manipulate in order to get what we want. God is not to be a means to an end. He is an end in himself.

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