ODJ: God’s name

March 19, 2014 

READ: Exodus 20:1-8 

You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name (v.7).

A colleague discovered that her name was used on a website to attract people to attend a Bible seminar. Immediately she took action to investigate the matter. Could this be a case of identity theft?

We get offended when someone misuses our name. Why? Because our name is important to us. It’s not merely a string of letters. It identifies who we are.

God is offended when we misuse His name—and rightly so (Exodus 20:7). For God’s name is always a revelation of who He is. In every title by which God made Himself known to man, He revealed some attributes of His divine character. So misusing His name is an affront to His character.

We can misuse God’s name in many ways. Attaching His name to profanity is one of them. And when we use “my God” or “my Lord” or “Jesus Christ” as a way to express our shock, dismay, surprise, elation or just casual interjection in conversation, we’ve used His name frivolously and disrespectfully. Also, when we praise God in our songs without meaning the words, we’ve uttered His name insincerely.

His name can be misused even through actions and deeds. When believers in Jesus live like the world, we treat the name derived from the One we follow, “Christian”, with disrespect. We give the world occasion to blaspheme the good name of the Lord: “No wonder the Scriptures say, ‘The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you’ ” (Romans 2:24).

The way we handle God’s name is a reflection of our relationship with Him and our esteem for Him. So, let’s serve the right God (1st commandment) the right way (2nd commandment) with the right regard (3rd commandment). —Poh Fang Chia
1 Samuel 1:1-28 ‹365-day plan

Read Numbers 20:1-13 to see an example of how God dealt with someone who didn’t follow Him in obedience and holiness. 
How can you treat God’s name more reverently? Why do people choose to disrespect God and His name?