(This is not finished and refined…these are my thoughts)
The modern church, to my view, has become nauseating in it’s representation of God to the world. And, why do they present God to the world in this way that I find nauseating? Because this is how they see God.
In the OT…long before we had Tyndale or Zondervan pumping out every color and size of Bible for everyone to carry with them everywhere…long before we had podcasts of every seminary educated pastor out there for the listening to…we saw people who really KNEW God.
All three of these men lived without a pocket Bible. All three of these men lived without going to Sunday School, Youth Group, church, Bible studies and home groups every week and yet they lived extreme lives of faith toward God.
Abraham, without a Bible was willing to head off, immediately, without first consulting with the “church elders” or doing a “Bible study” on it or “praying about it” for weeks…immediately the next day after God SPOKE to him…he headed off with his one and only son to kill him…why? Because he knew God.
Abraham, without going to seminary, knew God well enough that when God said, “I’m about to wipe out Sodom n’ Gomorrah”…Abraham said, “But, wait!”
Moses…knew God well enough to do the same. God says, “Stand aside, I’m going to wipe their wicked butts off the planet and start over with you, Moses!” and Moses says, “Wait! You can’t! Don’t!”
Jonah…was told to go “cry out against” Nineveh. He was to go tell the people that they were about to be wiped out and he ran away from God. Why? Because he hated the Ninevites and knew that God would change His mind if those people repented and he would have rather seen them smote!
Another worthy thought is Jacob…he wrestled with God all night long and was renamed, “Israel”. God honors those who “wrestle” with Him.
What if these men had had in their hearts the modern picture of God? What if these men had believed that, “God is in control” and “knows the future”. Would they have argued with or “wrestled with” God? I don’t think so. They woulda’ thought God was just “working out His plan” let’s stand back and watch! God had just said, “I AM GOING TO do something…” If they believed, as does the modern church, that God knew the future, certainly, He had just stated the future and it was done. But, tho’ God said He was going to do something, He didn’t do that thing, which would mean one of two things: either He lied when He said He was about to do something He knew He was not going to do OR…He didn’t know He was not going to do that.
Abraham, Moses, and Jonah did not accuse God of lying after these situations. They knew God in a way the modern church does not…without Bibles…without concordances…without Bible Studies…without Pastors and without church elders…they knew God how He really is in a way we don’t…
Let’s look at the modern 10 Commandments for one thing. We won’t look at how the modern church treats all of them like how we don’t even have one of them any more at all and now just have “9 Commandments”… ’cause that’d be a book…but for now, let’s look at what we’ve done with the 3rd Commandment. I think we all know what it says but this is how we read it now…
You shall not say “Oh my God!” for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who says “Oh my God!”.
Right. That makes sense.
BUT…that’s how we understand God these days because that’s what the church thinks. That’s all the deeper we get, huh? We believe God put that right in the same “Top 10″ list of things He wants mankind to know about Him right up there with:
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet…
Right. God doesn’t want us to say, “Oh my God.”
I looked up the words, “take, vain, avail.” God help anyone learning English as a 2nd language for one thing! “Take” had over 100 definitions! All similar…yet slightly different. Look here…
If we’re not to TAKE the Lord’s NAME in VAIN…
Below are most of the definitions of “take” on “dictionary.com” but you don’t have to read them all to get the point…just scan thru till you’re satisfied and then move on…
to get into one’s hold or possession by voluntary action
to hold, grasp, or grip: to take a book in one’s hand
to get into one’s hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice
to seize or capture: to take an enemy town
to catch or get (fish, game, etc.), esp. by killing
to pick from a number
to receive and accept willingly (something given or offered
to receive or be the recipient of (something bestowed, administered, etc.)
to accept and act upon or comply with: to take advice
to receive or accept (a person) into some relation: to take someone in marriage
to receive, react, or respond to in a specified manner
to receive as a payment or charge
to gain for use by payment, lease, etc
to secure regularly or periodically by payment
to get or obtain from a source; derive
to extract or quote
to obtain or exact as compensation for some wrong
to receive into the body or system, as by swallowing or inhaling
to have for one’s benefit or use
to use as a flavoring agent in a food or beverage
to be subjected to; undergo
to endure or submit to with equanimity or without an appreciable weakening of one’s resistance
to enter into the enjoyment of (recreation, a holiday, etc.)
to carry off without permission
to remove by death
to end (a life)
to subtract or deduct
to carry with one
to convey in a means of transportation
(of a vehicle) to convey or transport
(of a road, path, etc.) to serve as a means of conducting to or through some place or region
to bring about a change in the state or condition of
to conduct or escort
to set about or succeed in getting over, through, or around (some obstacle); clear; negotiate
to come upon suddenly; catch
to get or contract; catch
to attack or affect, as with a disease
to be capable of attaining as a result of some action or treatment
to absorb or become impregnated with; be susceptible to
to attract and hold
to captivate or charm
to employ for some specified or implied purpose
to use as a means of transportation
to get on or board (a means of transportation) at a given time or in a given place
to proceed to occupy
to occupy; fill (time, space, etc.)
to use up; consume
to avail oneself of
to do, perform, execute, etc.
to go into or enter
to adopt and enter upon (a way, course, etc.)
to act or perform
to make (a reproduction, picture, or photograph)
to make a picture, esp. a photograph, of
to write down
to apply oneself to; study
to deal with; treat
to proceed to handle in some manner
to assume or undertake (a function, duty, job, etc.)
to assume or adopt (a symbol, badge, or the like) as a token of office
to assume the obligation of; be bound by
to assume or adopt as one’s own
to assume or appropriate as if by right: to take credit for someone else’s work.
to accept the burden of
to determine by inquiry, examination, measurement, scientific observation, etc.
to make or carry out for purposes of yielding such a determination
to begin to have; experience (a certain feeling or state of mind)
to form and hold in the mind
to grasp or apprehend mentally; understand; comprehend
to understand in a specified way
to grasp the meaning of (a person)
to accept the statements of
to assume as a fact
to regard or consider
to capture or win (a piece, trick, etc.) in a game.
Informal . to cheat, swindle, or victimize
to win or obtain money from
(of a man) to have sexual intercourse with.
to acquire property, as on the happening of an event
to catch or engage, as a mechanical device
to strike root or begin to grow, as a plant.
to adhere, as ink, dye, or color.
(of a person or thing) to win favor or acceptance
to have the intended result or effect, as a medicine, inoculation, etc.
to enter into possession, as of an estate.
to detract (usually fol. by from ).
to apply or devote oneself
to make one’s way; proceed; go
to fall or become
the act of taking.
an opinion or assessment
an approach; treatment
to write down; record.
to diminish the pride or arrogance of; humble: to take someone down a notch or two.
to assume to be
to permit to enter; admit.
to alter (an article of clothing) so as to make smaller.
to provide lodging for.
to include; encompass.
to grasp the meaning of; comprehend.
to deceive; trick; cheat.
to observe; notice.
to visit or attend: to take in a show.
to furl (a sail).
to receive as proceeds, as from business activity.
to lead away
Informal . to depart; leave
to leave the ground, as an airplane.
to move onward or forward with a sudden or intense burst of speed
to withdraw or remove from
to remove by death; kill
to make a likeness or copy of; reproduce.
to subtract, as a discount; deduct
to undertake; assume
to accept as a challenge; contend against
to devote or apply oneself to; become habituated to
to respond favorably to; begin to like
to go to: to take to one’s bed.
to have recourse to; resort to
to occupy oneself with the study or practice of
to lift or pick up
to occupy; cover
to consume; use up; absorb
to begin to advocate or support; sponsor
to continue; resume
to reply to in order to reprove
to make shorter, as by hemming
to make tighter, as by winding in
to deal with in discussion
to adopt seriously
to accept, as an offer or challenge.
to buy as much as is offered
take up with, Informal . to become friendly with; keep company with
to accept or believe something; aquiesce
Informal . to be able to resist or endure hardship, abuse, etc.
take it out in, to accept as payment for services or as an equivalent of monetary compensation
take it out of,
to exhaust; enervate
to exact payment from; penalize
take it out on, Informal . to cause (someone else) to suffer for one’s own misfortune or dissatisfaction
take up a collection, to ask for or gather donations, usually of money, from a number of people.
take upon oneself, to assume as a responsibility or obligation
(That should give you more respect for all those people learning English as a 2nd language!)
Then if we look at the definition of “vain”…
–adjective, -er, -est.
1. excessively proud of or concerned about one’s own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.
2. proceeding from or showing personal vanity: vain remarks.
3. ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile: a vain effort.
4. without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless: vain pageantry; vain display.
5. Archaic . senseless or foolish.
c.1300, “devoid of real value, idle, unprofitable,” from O.Fr. vein ”worthless,” from L. vanus ”idle, empty,” from PIE *wa-no- , from base *eue- ”to leave, abandon, give out” (cf. O.E. wanian ”to lessen,” wan ”deficient;” O.N. vanta ”to lack;” L. vacare ”to be empty,” vastus ”empty, waste;” Avestan va- ”lack,” Pers. vang ”empty, poor;” Skt. una- ”deficient”). Meaning “conceited” first recorded 1692, from earlier sense of “silly, idle, foolish” (1390). Phrase in vain ”to no effect” (c.1300, after L. in vanum ) preserves the original sense.
What about the word, “Name”?
Well, we all know what a name is, but most importantly in the Bible when it talks about “a name” it means “something’s inner qualities.” It is easier to explain in Spanish...
In Spanish there are 2 forms of the verb “to be” or “is.” One form means an intrinsic quality and one means it’s a temporary state. You can be happy: “estar feliz” or be a happy person in general “ser feliz”. A name is something which in Spanish is in the “ser” category. When you ask someone what their name “is” you use the word for “intrinsic form”.
When God interacts with people all thru the OT we’re all familiar with how He uses different names for Himself. Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Rapha, and things like that. We sing praise songs to some of those names. Why does God do this? Because He is the great “I am”. He “is”. And, all of this names address a specific intrinsic quality of Him. Therefore His “name” is not just the word “God” or the word “Lord”. His “name” is WHO HE IS.
In light of all this…to think that God means that commandment this way:
You shall not say “Oh my God!” for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who says “Oh my God!”.
ACTUALLY breaks the commandment because believing that way really takes “who God IS” in a vain or worthless way.
Here’s the verse defined:
Thou shalt not…receive and accept willingly, accept and act upon or comply with, extract or quote, receive into the body, have for one’s benefit or use, be subjected to, enter into the enjoyment of, carry with, get on board with, apply oneself to, proceed to handle, accept the burden of, determine by inquiry, examination, measurement, scientific observation, etc., form and hold in the mind, grasp or apprehend mentally; understand; comprehend, grasp the meaning of, accept the statements of, assume as a fact, regard or consider…WHO God is…in a worthless, empty, devoid of real value, unprofitable, ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile, without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless way.