The Second Commandment, The Power of God's Name

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The Second Commandment, The Power of God's Name

Post by PastorDan on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:35 pm

You'll not take up the name of YHWH your God in vain.


What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.


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Be sure to read this blog post about the 2nd Commandment.
That post describes the great privilege and power associated with the Name of God.

If we love someone, we are likely to want to treat that person well. This applies to our friends, our family, and most importantly our God. Therefore, building on what we already know from the First Commandment, God commands us in the Second Commandment to be intentional about our life because we bear God's Name.

When you were Baptized, you got it. You were Baptized, "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". If you've been Baptized, then you bear God's name. The fact that you bear His name has implications. The implications are good if you bear His name well (you won't bear it "in vain"). The implications are grim if you bear it in any way that is inconsistent with the presence of His Name. Where God's Name is invoked, He claims His territory. You bear God's Name. You are His. Now... how do you bear it?

Pray, Praise, Give Thanks

From the positive side of the equation, we can teach our children that because we have been claimed by Jesus, we can call upon his name at any time and for any reason knowing that we will not be neglected. God hears us every time and has promised that "He is very near to those who cry out to him." (Ps. 145:18) So we can model what it looks like to "call upon" God prayerfully. Prayer doesn't have to sound flowery and inspirational. The best practice is probably to make a discipline of sharing the Lord's Prayer together with your kids at bedtime. You can always do more, but you ought not do less.

Hold Your Tongue

From the negative side, our mouths should never be used to "swear to God" about stuff, exclaim, "God damn" this or that, or use any kind of language that models a casual approach to our living relationship with our Savior. It is almost cliche to site the misuse of the Lord's name in childhood sports, but cliche or not, the unfortunate practice is still all too prevalent. It would be foolish to think that our kids are not going to encounter this kind of crass usage of God's name. Therefore, we should work with them to know how to respond. Children, especially when they are young, are natural imitators. I find that it is best not to overreact. When said in an unthinking, reflexive manner, we can simply bring what our children said to their attention. They will understand and will often feel guilty enough once they remember whose name they are misusing.

Teens and preteens can begin to discuss how the use of God's name reflects the way in which people view and value God. Having established a more personal concrete example, older children are able to start discussing how what tears us down emotionally also tears down God. Talk with teens and preteens about how the language people use to describe God shapes their understanding of who God is.

As always, when we are modeling the commandments to our children, we must remember to take the long approach to discipleship. Following Jesus is something that continues for the rest of their lives. Victories sometimes come slowly. But it will never be in vain when Mom and Dad are taking up God's Name in the home in the most meaningful and respectful ways. This, more than anything else, will establish the 2nd Commandment as a family lifestyle.

Lastly, and you'll hear me say this a lot, the 2nd Commandment is rooted in the 1st.

Because you have a First Commandment relationship with God (He's your God, you're His follower), you live a Second Commandment life.

Why not misuse God's Name? Because we have a First Commandment relationship with Him.

And how do I know if I have that? Because He became my God in Baptism. So Baptism creates the First Commandment reality and all the other commandments naturally follow.
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PastorDan
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