Public Relations (Part 8)
To Profane God's Name
You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)
I will be jealous for My holy Name.
Ezekiel 39:25 (NKJV)
'I had concern for My holy Name... And I will sanctify My great Name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,' says the Lord God, 'when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.'
Ezekiel 36:21,23 (NKJV)
The prophets prophesy lies in My Name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.
Jeremiah 14:14 (NKJV)
Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV)
Actors, models and talent for Christ: set the record straight. The Name of the Lord your God is not to be taken lightly.* On earth today, His Name is profaned increasingly. Consider OMG: an exclamation point used among Christians and non-Christians alike. Can God be reduced to a punctuation mark (!) ?**
Why would God be 'jealous' and 'concerned' about the use of His Name? Because God 'Desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth' (1 Timothy 2:4). Because by the trivialization and desecration of His Name, God's status is reduced in the eyes of the men He hopes to save.
Why would those who are lost follow a confusing guide? Why would those who are prodigals return to a hateful parent? Why would those who are bound seek freedom from a jailer? Why would those who are weak ask help from a loser? Our God is none of these things.
Christians must not toss His Name around like a Band-Aid or a trinket. His Name is not a Book we have mastered--nor a Degree we have earned. His Name is not Goliath to win our greedy wars. His Name is not a means to serve our desires but a Way to rule our hearts.
Today's key Scriptures were not written to outsiders, but to insiders, His self-proclaimed people. But maybe that's the problem. We proclaim ourselves far too much--and Him far too little.
In the use of His Name, I suggest we examine our motives closely. I suggest we get off of our high horses (that's His place), clean ourselves up (with Scripture), and get down on our knees (in reverence).
To Be Continued...
* Judaism 101, 'The Name of G-d': http://www.jewfaq.org/name.htm
** AMTC devotion: 'God's Ten Commandments for Hollywood, #3, No 'OMG': http://www.amtcdevotions.com/gods-ten-commandments-for-hollywood-3-no-omg
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Public Relations series.