“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God…”
The names: Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Holy Spirit, Savior, Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, and “I AM” are all equally – sacred. This is true because they all refer to the same eternal deity who revealed Himself as our Creator. He alone understands and deeply loves all that He has created (see John 3:16)!
The third commandment given to us through Moses is to respect God’s holy name. The eternal architect of the universe, who deserves to be worshiped and obeyed as the “Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…” (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13) It may come as a surprise to unschooled seekers that our Creator’s earthly name is none other than the – Lord Jesus Christ! To understand this, thoughtfully read these timeless verses –
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)
The sacred names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are never to be spoken lightly or used disrespectfully. The Bible explains that it was God, our Father, who gave His beloved Son, His supremely wonderful name “…that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9b-11)
Because of profane ignorance – history’s secular populations have often naïvely cooperated with Satan. His demonic objective has always been to trivialize God’s holy name. Our enemy wants people in every generation to have the same disdain for our Savior that he has. This is why in reprehensible dishonor of our loving God’s sacred name – Satan wants it to be lowered to a – curse word!
When devoted human parents reprove their children for disrespect, how could we expect the misuse of our heavenly Father’s name not be judged? Notably, this blatantly immature behavior counterfeits God’s spiritual purpose intended for our prayer life. We are to pray in Jesus’ name (see John 14:13; John 15:16; John 16:23–24). Instead, countless times lost sinners can be heard taking His name “in vain.” At that very same time the Bible confirms that, He is listening.
“Call to Me and I will answer you…” (Jeremiah 33:3)
A profane exclamation, like “G.D.” is actually a misguided prayer asking God to condemn someone or something to hell. The most common expression “Oh my God!” – is a wide spread example of today’s frequent profanity. God’s name is eternal, and it will always be holy! This is why it must never be used as part of a meaningless expression, or an emotional outburst! Nor, can it appropriately be used by sinners as a serious request for God’s judgement or eternal damnation.
The spiritual emptiness of any generation is most naturally revealed by what its people thoughtlessly say. Jesus referred to this spiritual reality when explaining, “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…” (Luke 6:45) As you listen to those around you – you should remain prepared to prayerfully discuss their often-unintentional disregard for their Creator. Simply remind them that whenever they speak God’s name, they are addressing the Almighty, and beginning a prayer! The Holy Spirit will assist you in explaining this whenever the need presents itself. Over time, you will find the discussion of His name to become natural and an ideal opportunity for personal witness.
When all is said and done, “… Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8) so let’s live with that awareness every day of our lives!
By Billie Hanks Jr.