We’ve all heard of the ten commandments, and no matter how hard we try, there seems to be no way to erase what has almost been engrained in us. No this is not a quiz or a test of knowledge of whether or not you can name all 10, but before I start ranting, I thought I should name them all, for you and for me.
‘I am the Lord your God…
1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol of yourself whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth…
3. Do no misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…
5.Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor’s house.
10.Do not covet your neighbor’s wife…or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’ [ Exodus 20:2-17 HCSB ]
So what is the point? You all already know them and aware of the weight that they hold, correct? I honestly do not think so. I fall short of a few of these, like honoring my father and mother in ways they truly deserve to be honored (typical teen, right?), but that is not the only commandment that I lose track of in my daily life. Go back and look at number 3. What does it say? ‘Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God…’
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. That seems so simple right? Do not say ‘oh my God’ or ‘ Oh God!’ and we’re good right? No we are not. The idea of using the Lord’s name in vain has been heavy on my heart every since my friends and I talked about the commandments in bible study, 3 months ago. The reason saying ‘oh my God’ is “bad” is not just because we are misusing His name, but because we do not understand the power behind what we are saying. Just think about how many times you say the Lord’s name in a day:
‘Praise the Lord!’– ‘Oh Praise Him from who all blessings flow!’– ‘Lordy living’– ‘Oh Lord’– the list could keep going.
When you are saying ‘Praise the Lord’ are you truly praising Him? Do you actually understand the power, the holiness behind that name? Do you feel the weight of it when the words slip from your mouth? Does your heart stop when with the inability to fathom his beauty when you breathe His name? These questions have been running through my head every time I speak the Lord’s name. I have the freedom to praise Him on my school campus, I have the freedom to speak His word til I can no longer take another breath. The Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the One whose Heaven is His throne and the earth as His footstool, is not just some average name that should be capitalized on twitter or facebook. He not only reigns over all the earth, but that same Lord who rose His Son from the grave, brings me back to life every morning. That same Lord who separated the water from water, is jealous for me. I am not talking about some plain, simple god right now, I am talking about the God who gives me and you undeserving mercy and grace every stinkin’ day. Do you get where I am going with this?
Our Lord does not deserve an empty hallelujah or hosanna, a pity ‘praise Him’ or a weak and distracted song during church/chapel. He deserves every little bit of energy that we have, from the time we rise out of bed to the time we put our heads on our pillow.
THIS is what I struggle with every single day. Of course I say ‘Praise the Lord’ because it is an easy catch phrase, but I give it little meaning when I do. Yes I do sing the whole first verse of “Praise God from whom all blessings flow’ when I get a parking space in the Kem parking lot, but I truly believe and try to praise Him because it is a TRUE blessing from the Lord when I do (especially in this yucky weather) BUT I still have a long way to go in half-way understanding this mysterious, wondrous God that I follow.
So what are you doing to do about this? Well that is your choice, but my hope and prayer for whoever is reading this is that they will think twice before they speak the name of The Lord because He should not be just a mere blimp in your daily life.
Know the weight of His name and Praise Him for the Glorious and Holy Lord that He is.