Exodus 20:7 (NLT)
“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.”
Exodus 20:7 (AMP)
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that it, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].
Exodus 20:7 (CEB)
“Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.
I am going to start this week by asking you a very difficult question
What do you stand for?
Before you answer, understand what I am asking. What are the things in your life that are NON-NEGOTIABLE. What are the things in your life that there is no discussion, it should be understood, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED?
Maybe it’s vulgarity. Speak the word, spank the butt. No questions asked.
Maybe it’s disrespect.
Maybe it’s bad grades.
Maybe it’s drama. I heard a man say one time that when him and his wife got married he told her that there would be no drama in his house that he wasn’t going to put up with it. (yeah right)
What is it that makes your blood boil?
We all know that our nerves are tested or WILL BE TESTED or ARE BEING TESTED RIGHT NOW by our children. Sometimes what we say we stand for or stand against is easily thwarted depending upon maybe what time of day it is or how tired you are.
Let me give you an example: Grayson has outgrown his bassinet and his swing. So we naturally started transitioning him to the baby bed. Well that hasn’t gone so well. It’s a crap shoot on whether or not he will stay asleep all night in it. Most of the time he does, but it really depends upon when we put him down for the night. Last Sunday night it was after 11 and he had just woken AGAIN from being asleep in the crib. Reisa and I, although we want him to learn to sleep in the baby bed and we certainly don’t want him to get to use to sleeping in our bed, made an executive decision to just skip the fight and the crying and just put him in bed with us.
In that moment, Reisa and I compromised for the sake of a good night sleep.
Might not make that big of a difference when it comes to the sleep of your child, but it DOES make a difference when it comes to the boundaries you set in your home.
Did your parents ever compromise their rules because of your sad puppy dog eyes?
Have you found yourself compromising with your kids to keep them happy?
Which parent is more likely to give in instead of standing their ground?
This leads us to this weeks Parental Advisory
Parental Advisory: Compromise Leads to Confusion
We have talked over the last couple of weeks about the necessity for boundaries within the home. And although we ALL want to see our children happy, compromise isn’t ALWAYS the best solution.
For example: How do you set a boundary in your home if its ok to cross the line on Monday but they better not come close to it on Tuesday.
Rules are HARD to enforce ALL the time. But a rule that is enforced is a rule that is respected.
If the child feels as if they can easily get away with x,y,z depending on how they play their cards, then they will look at us as pushovers instead of parents.
Again let me say, I know this isn’t easy but it is very important.
Compromise leads to confusion.
Have you ever seen two parents who disagree on what their child can or can’t do?
What would be a solution to differing opinions within the home?
The bible says that our YES should be YES and our NO should be NO. So let’s make sure that we aren’t confusing our child. They can learn to respect the boundaries as long as they know every day that line is still there and the consequences haven’t changed should they choose to cross it.
Commandment #3: For His Name Should ALWAYS be Holy
So as we continue in this Biblical Parenting journey we have learned two very important principles from God’s Word: (1) Make the Lord Top Priority and (2) Nothing Else deserves our worship. As we keep building on this pyramid we reach the third level: His Name Should ALWAYS Be Kept Holy
So before we can get into how this affects your family and ultimately your parenting, we need to figure out what exactly it means. To do this, let’s look at the very name of the Lord. To start we’ll focus on the WORDS themselves.
When is the last time you heard someone say “Oh my GOD”?
How about the word “JESUS man”?
It’s amazing how effortlessly people us the Lord’s name with NO reverence at all. It’s as if it’s just another word or another slang. We could talk about their motives or their intentions and we might even sympathize that they don’t really know what they are saying. Problem is, what they are saying is meant to be KEPT HOLY!!
When the Israelites asked who it was that was going to deliver them out of Egypt; who was this God of their fathers, Moses told them his name was “I AM”. The actual meaning behind the name that was given is lost to us BECAUSE the Hebrew people considered the name to SACRED for them to speak. That’s why they would later change the name they used from YHWH to Elohim. The name God gave Moses was SO revered by the Israelites that they considered it BLASPHEMOUS to even utter the words.
You see the difference between then and now?
So which philosophy is correct? How should we feel about God’s name? How should we approach the very name of our savior?
Is it ok for us to use his name loosely? Even if we don’t mean anything by it?
I think we all know the answer to that.
But let’s take it a step further.
So before I put some pressure on you about making sure the name of God is kept holy in your home, let me re-establish a working knowledge of WHY His name is to be kept holy.
Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
Can we possibly understand just how big our God really is? Can we possibly fathom how much power he has? Can we, for just one moment grasp how much he controls without breaking a sweat? Let’s look at Job and God’s discourse with him in chapter 38.
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’ “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors. The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence. “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced! “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.) Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind? “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning? Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives? Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground and make the tender grass spring up? “Does the rain have a father? Who gives birth to the dew? Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens? For the water turns to ice as hard as rock, and the surface of the water freezes. “Can you direct the movement of the stars— binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth? “Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct? Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods? “Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions’ appetites as they lie in their dens or crouch in the thicket? Who provides food for the ravens when their young cry out to God and wander about in hunger?
Who can do all these things? Who? Is it us? NO!! It’s the name of God! It’s the name of the one that we are throwing around carelessly as if it doesn’t make ANY DIFFERENCE.
Because of the unlimited power and holiness of the Lord, His name is rightly revered and should always be kept sacred. When we are using His name loosely we are invoking the name of the very architect of the universe. Please understand the scope of who God is. We are ONE planet in a solar system of 8. Our Solar System is one in amongst maybe millions in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one out of possible millions in our universe. And yet the bible says that God put the stars in the sky as if it were no big deal.
Notice Isaiah’s response when he caught a glimpse of the Lord:
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
Isaiah’s response when he seen the Lord was, IM DEAD!! IM DOOMED!! I SHOULDN’T BE HERE!!! I AM UNCLEAN!!!!
Jonathan Edward was a famous preacher in the 18th century who preached a sermon with the most chilling of words ever spoken about the holiness of God. His sermon entitled “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” shows just how close to hell and destruction we really are. A healthy dose of how far we have come because of Christ is needed to help us understand how holy the name of the Lord is.
It wasn’t that long after the Ten Commandment episode at Mt. Sinai that these terrifying words were written.
Deuteronomy 32:35 (NLT)
I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.
Here is what Edwards sermon suggests: “In this verse is threatened the Vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, that were God’s visible people, yet remained, as is expressed in verses 1-35, void of counsel, having no understanding in them; and that, under all the cultivations of Heaven, brought forth bitter and poisonous Fruit; as in verses 36 and 37.
“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say! Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! “But they have acted corruptly toward him; when they act so perversely, are they really his children? They are a deceitful and twisted generation. Is this the way you repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t he your Father who created you? Has he not made you and established you? Remember the days of long ago; think about the generations past. Ask your father, and he will inform you. Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High assigned lands to the nations, when he divided up the human race, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court. “For the people of Israel belong to the Lord; Jacob is his special possession. He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes. Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. The Lord alone guided them; they followed no foreign gods. He let them ride over the highlands and feast on the crops of the fields. He nourished them with honey from the rock and olive oil from the stony ground. He fed them yogurt from the herd and milk from the flock, together with the fat of lambs. He gave them choice rams from Bashan, and goats, together with the choicest wheat. You drank the finest wine, made from the juice of grapes. “But Israel soon became fat and unruly; the people grew heavy, plump, and stuffed! Then they abandoned the God who had made them; they made light of the Rock of their salvation. They stirred up his jealousy by worshiping foreign gods; they provoked his fury with detestable deeds. They offered sacrifices to demons, which are not God, to gods they had not known before, to new gods only recently arrived, to gods their ancestors had never feared. You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth. “The Lord saw this and drew back, provoked to anger by his own sons and daughters. He said, ‘I will abandon them; then see what becomes of them. For they are a twisted generation, children without integrity. They have roused my jealousy by worshiping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols. Now I will rouse their jealousy through people who are not even a people; I will provoke their anger through the foolish Gentiles. For my anger blazes forth like fire and burns to the depths of the grave. It devours the earth and all its crops and ignites the foundations of the mountains. I will heap disasters upon them and shoot them down with my arrows. I will weaken them with famine, burning fever, and deadly disease. I will send the fangs of wild beasts and poisonous snakes that glide in the dust. Outside, the sword will bring death, and inside, terror will strike both young men and young women, both infants and the aged. I would have annihilated them, wiping out even the memory of them. But I feared the taunt of Israel’s enemy, who might misunderstand and say, “Our own power has triumphed! The Lord had nothing to do with this!”’ “But Israel is a senseless nation; the people are foolish, without understanding. Oh, that they were wise and could understand this! Oh, that they might know their fate! How could one person chase a thousand of them, and two people put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? But the rock of our enemies is not like our Rock, as even they recognize. Their vine grows from the vine of Sodom, from the vineyards of Gomorrah. Their grapes are poison, and their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. “The Lord says, ‘Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’ “Indeed, the Lord will give justice to his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. Then he will ask, ‘Where are their gods, the rocks they fled to for refuge? Where now are those gods, who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their offerings? Let those gods arise and help you! Let them provide you with shelter! Look now; I myself am he! There is no other god but me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the one who wounds and heals; no one can be rescued from my powerful hand! Now I raise my hand to heaven and declare, “As surely as I live, when I sharpen my flashing sword and begin to carry out justice, I will take revenge on my enemies and repay those who reject me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword will devour flesh— the blood of the slaughtered and the captives, and the heads of the enemy leaders.”’ “Rejoice with him, you heavens, and let all of God’s angels worship him. Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles, and let all the angels be strengthened in him. For he will avenge the blood of his children; he will take revenge against his enemies. He will repay those who hate him and cleanse his people’s land.”
From this text Jonathon makes the following declarations:
- The possibility of “slipping” is ALWAYS there.
- Psalm 73:18 (NLT) Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
- The possibility of “slipping” is ALWAYS sudden.
- Psalm 73:18-19 (NLT) Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.
- The possibility of “slipping” is ALWAYS of themselves.
- Meaning that no one pushes them or makes them fall.
- The reason they haven’t slipped already is because the appointed time hasn’t come. “God won’t hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then, at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction…”
- There is no security for wicked men for ONE moment, just because there are no visible means of death.
- It is natural for man to take great care to preserve their own lives, but this doesn’t secure them for a moment.
- Then only way to escape this fate is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
One final declaration to the wickedness of men in this sermon: “You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of Hell, but don’t see the Hand of God in it, but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.”
So what’s the point of all this: If you haven’t figured it out by now, the name of the Lord IS NOT something that should be thrown around carelessly. God isn’t instructing Israel to keep his name Holy because he is needing the self-confidence. Listen to me very carefully here: if WE as parents regard the name of the Lord as sacred and holy, then our EXAMPLE will TEACH our Children to regard his name as sacred and Holy as well.
Should we be fearful of the name of God? Solomon says that the fear of the Lord, (fear meaning healthy respect and reverence) is the beginning of all wisdom. And while you may not be in danger of going to hell because of the blood of Jesus; you still are worshipping a Holy and righteous God who revisits the sins of the fathers up until the third and fourth generations. Keeping his name Holy starts with you. If we don’t keep it holy, our children won’t either. And it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.