Don’t Misuse God’s Name

Exodus 4:7

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

It strikes me as odd how certain four letter words are acceptable on TV and others are not.  I don’t know how certain words became more vulgar than others.  Particularly frustrating and confusing is when God’s name is taken in vain as we see it today; God is bleeped out while leaving the rest of the offensive saying intact as if God were the bad part.

This commandment is a bit strange and vague.  Today we think of it as not saying a certain phrase.  The Israelites took this commandment so seriously that they never uttered God’s name in case they might say it incorrectly.  This likely isn’t the intention of the command.

To misuse God’s name is to attach the authority of God to something that God did not intend.  To say that God will judge sin and to say that God considers certain things to be sin is acceptable.  But to say that God hates divorced people is overstepping what the Bible says and attaching God’s name to something that He didn’t say.  We can talk about sin, we can talk about what happens to unrepentant sinners, but to speak for God when God didn’t give instruction is wrong.

Popular preachers have done this in regard to disasters as well and I believe that this is wrong.  We know that God dislikes sin but to say that a disaster is God’s punishment for sin is speaking for God.  Unless God specifically instructed someone to declare that a disaster is a judgment for a particular sin, we shouldn’t put words in God’s mouth.  Sin will be judged, we don’t have to worry about that.  But without knowing for certain what God did or didn’t do and why He did so, we should keep quiet and keep God’s name out of our opinions.

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