June 29 - Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain
The third part of the Ten Commandments has a stipulation against taking the name of the Lord in vain. If anyone does that, God would not take it lightly and not regard that person as guiltless. Misusing the name of the Lord is like blaspheming His holy name. King Ahaz and the seven sons of Sceva made the same mistake by taking the Lord’s name in vain. The former wanted to worship God on his own terms and the latter ones tried to use the name of the Lord for their own glory.
King Ahaz, when in Damascus, saw the altar there where the Syrians offered their sacrifices to the idols. He must have been very impressed with the construction of it and so he sent to Uriah the priest a model of that altar and its pattern, exact in all its details for him to duplicate. So Uriah did and Ahaz went up that altar to offer burnt offering and grain offering to the Lord. Although he was worshipping God, he was doing it his way in total disregard to God’s original intention. He thought that the altar in the temple was not good enough and he need an import, using pagan symbols and methods in his worship of God.
The seven sons of Sceva (who was a Jewish high priest) were itinerant Jewish exorcists. They did not believe in the Lord Jesus but were only interested in borrowing His name. So they invoked the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” But the evil spirits answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” So the evil spirit leaped on them and overpowered them. They fled naked and wounded. Using the name of the Lord without a personal relationship with the Bearer of that name is dangerous. Many just want the power and not the person, thus misusing the name of the Lord.
Many come to the Lord on their own terms, they lay down their own rules on how to worship God and how to practice their faith. Those who are from pagan backgrounds of idolatry would worship God in the same ways as they worship an idol. They offer sacrifices to the Lord but on their own altars, being oblivious to what God’s requirements are. Still more just want the benefit of salvation and the power to help them with success in life. They use God instead of being used by Him. Worship is seen as a way to court God’s favor, they bribe God as they would bribe an idol and their worship is just the worship of the self.
Are you using the name of the Lord in vain? Do you use His name but not following His ways? Are you worshipping God just like worshipping an idol? Are you fitting God into your present scheme of beliefs? Let the Holy Spirit speak to you now and tell you if you need to repent of this sin. Ask for His forgiveness now.
Ps 141:1-10 2 Kgs 15:1-16:20 Acts 19:13-41 Prov 18:4-5