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Ex 20:7

posted May 25, 2012, 9:29 AM by David Gerhart   [ updated May 25, 2012, 9:46 AM ]
"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain." Ex 20:7

The NIV interprets "in vain" as "misuse" ... And the NIV translates Solomon in Ecclesiastes saying "Meaningless, Meaningless" where the KJV uses "Vanity, Vanity"

Vanity is emptiness. Meaninglessness, nothing.  This is truly an existential argument: Nothing from nothing, is nothing.  Warning on the misuse of our tongues is frequent throughout scripture.

As usual, religious tradition holds all sorts of do's and don'ts with respect to four letter words, cursing, and otherwise -- these traditions are where and how clergy establishes the perimeter of faith, dictating understanding among the faithful.   This has introduced a fog of cultural tradition within the church that obscures the nature of this commandment.  A rephrasing would infer a wider view. 

Ex 20:7 "Don't use the Lord and his good Name for empty purposes -- you'll suffer punishment." (the Editor's version of the truth.)

An example to consider in this present season: When politics and a secular agenda, for whatever moral purpose, are asserted from the pulpit.  Our church speakers are warned in scripture quite pointedly.

"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." Jas 3:1

James encapsulates his point by continuing:

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness." Jas 3:9

Caution, listeners!  Do not abdicate your responsible questioning and a manifestly righteous Berean work ethic.

"...[Bereans} examined the scripture daily to see if what Paul (the speaker) said was true." Acts 17:11

It seems silly, but the answer to the question "What would Jesus say?" (or do, or think) is recorded.  In the Bible.  Those who would dare fill in the blank, are deceiving themselves and their audience. Is there a more shameful means to profane the Name of the Lord? The enemy is the author of lies, free to speak the names of the Lord.  (scriptural examples are there) The enemy is busy misleading, especially in the end-times -- even the "Elect"! 

Lord rest with us all, "And lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil."  Mat. 6:13