You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. (Exodus 20:7)
God gave us the gift of His name. This name gives God a tangible identity – He is no longer a mystery, but a God with an identity. This God seeks a personal relationship with His creation and we can no longer make “God” mean whatever we want. The name of God shares His character, nature, power, passion, and authority. Knowing God’s name allows us to honor, worship, and glorify Him in the most appropriate way. This is an incredible and awe-inspiring gift.
Through the second commandment, God is saying that we cannot make Him part of our lies. We can no longer avoid the truth to save our own skin, we can no longer allow our prayers to be insincere, and we can no longer seek to flatter our Christian brothers and sisters because it is easier than discipling them. Christians must not only live truthfully but we must also speak truthfully.
Pride, fear, confusion, selfishness, habit, anger, ignorance — all of these very human qualities cause us to break this commandment. The challenge of keeping this commandment is that we must go against our very nature. We must learn simplicity of speech and integrity of relationship. Not taking the Lord’s name in vain means that we are committed to speaking truthfully to God, to ourselves, and to one another. (Hauerwas and Willimon, p 46)
For Week 4, please read Chapter 3 on the Third Commandment. Following are discussion questions to prepare you for our next meeting:
- What is the purpose of the Sabbath day?
- How is the Sabbath tied to Creation?
- Why is rest so important to God?
- What work can’t be avoided on a Sunday?
- What activities should we participate in on Sunday?
- How is obeying the third commandment a witness to the world?