DayBreaks for 4/02/14 – The Father’s Name
Deuteronomy 5:11 (NLT) – You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
I can’t recall my father ever saying anything to me about needing to behave so as not to bring disgrace or shame to my family name. Nonetheless, I grew up with a strong sense of belonging and have always been proud to be a part of the family into which I was born. There were some famous Dalrymple’s (and some infamous ones as well!), but I always was proud to wear the name and no one had to tell me not to bring shame to my father or the name we bore.
Just this past Sunday as we were entering the church building for the second worship service, I heard a woman coming out of the service and overheard her say, “Oh, my God!” And she wasn’t worshiping….she was talking about something having nothing to do with God at all. It struck me how even among Christians we have lost a sense for the reverence of the Father’s name.
“In tribe-controlled areas of India, children who disrespect their families by marrying outside their castes are still, occasionally, put to death despite strong national laws. However, enlightenment is advancing, and Mr. Sidhnath Sharma recently filed a lawsuit, instead, against his caste-straying son for “destroying the family tradition” and “lowering his father’s prestige.” Sharma, a lawyer in Patna, India, is demanding that the son pay a monthly royalty of the equivalent of $163 for the son’s now-unauthorized use of the father’s name.” [The Hindu, 1-25-2014 and News of the Weird, 4/1/14]
When I read this, I thought: what if God dealt with us the same way this Indian father is dealing with his son? When we cheapen the Holy Name of God we diminish His apparent greatness before the world, do we not? When we throw His Name around as if it was just part of an exclamation (not really having anything at all to do with Him or His worship), it becomes almost a swear word!
Can I ask you to do so something? If you are a follower of God, save His Name. He doesn’t need us to save Him, but save His Name for reverence and prayer and thoughtful discussion of Who He is and what He has done. Let’s not cheapen His name for His name deserves nothing but our highest praise and respect! If you catch yourself saying things like, “Oh, my God!….”, stop. Break the habit. Honor the Lord your God! It isn’t “cute”. It would have been considered blasphemy in earlier times. And God doesn’t change! If people have lost respect for the Name of God, it isn’t because He deserves it any less, but simply because we, His people, haven’t been respecting it!
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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