Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saying "I do" to God: HIS way and staying true! The third commandment.

Exodus 20: 7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Genesis 2: 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Revelation 21:9
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

We've covered two very important commandments so far. Today we do the third. Yet, as you will see, even though the third commandment is very well known- it is not very well understood. This verse is about FAR MORE than not using the name of God as a curse word!

From the beginning of time, God has been all about relationships. When God created the first humans, he created marriage. Some foot notes here. In the Old Testament, from the first marriage on, there have always been several necessary ingredients to create a marriage: a) one man, b) one woman c) A Patriarchal (or father's) blessing. 

In the case of Adam and Eve, this blessing was given by God almighty. In the case of Isaac, this blessing was given by Abraham through his servant. With David's first wife, the blessing was given by King Saul. Every marriage is not given in detail, besides the fact that the couple married, but there's enough evidence in the scriptures to show these elements as being the norm. 

In the New Testament, Jesus' first miracle was done at a wedding ceremony. A legally binding ceremony that included the rabbi (or priest) in conducting it. There was also a whole range of ceremonies and requirements that are alluded to in the parable of the 10 virgins. However, there is enough evidence in scripture to support that there must be a) a bridegroom (husband-male) b) a bride (wife-female), and c) a legally binding ceremony officiated by a man of God. 

Now, even in Bible times, the wife took on her husbands name. She became, for instance, Mary, the wife of Joseph. Her name would've been something like Mary Eeshah Joseph, Eeshah meaning wife. Taking his name gave her all the legal rights and responsibilities that a wife could have under the law of the land. She HAD to take his name or there was NO marriage. 

Our society, for centuries, followed this same plan. When the man and woman married, she took on his last name. If she refused, there was no marriage. Only in recent times (the last 20-30 years) has the law changed to allow her to marry her husband and NOT take her husbands name. Personally, I contend that this should not be allowed. I refuse to knowingly do ANY wedding ceremony, where the bride is not going to take the grooms name. 

Taking his name means submission to him. Taking his name means dedication and love for him. Taking his name means carrying herself and representing her husband in a way that befits her station as his wife. Taking his name means she accepts all the rights and responsibilities that come with being his wife. She forsakes ALL other suitors and clings to him and him alone.  

Think I am being ridiculous? Look at how God sees it! "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain!" The word "vain" comes from the Hebrew word, "shav". It means: 1) emptiness, vanity, falsehood
a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity
b) emptiness of speech, lying
c) worthlessness (of conduct)

God declares that HIS bride: those of us in the church, do not take his name and then not hold to our vows to him! If we take his name as an empty promise on our part, and then refuse to carry ourselves in speech and conduct in a way that lifts up our husband and shows our dedication to our husband, then God doesn't take it lightly! In fact, he says "for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." 

WOW! God's not playing here! The word for Lord here is JHWH (Jehovah to some. Jahweh to others) and it means the self existing one. The word for God here is Elohim and in this case means "the true God". (Note to trinitarians: What since would it make for God to say he is the self existing ONE and then try to say he is more than one? It doesn't! Elohim is a plurality of attributes, NOT of persons.) 

So, the self existing one, our true God, tells us not to take his name and not mean it. If we do, then he will NOT hold us guiltless! 

How does the "bride of Christ" take the name of our husband? 

"There is only one name, given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Paul said we are "buried WITH HIM in baptism" (Romans 6:4). Peter said for us to be "baptized in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Jesus said we "must be born of water..." (John 3:5). 

When we are baptized in water in Jesus name we have "put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). He has become our husband. We have TAKEN HIS NAME! This is why the biblical prerequisite to water baptism is repentance. Baptism in Jesus name washes away our past sins. Therefore, repentance is required before hand for God to hold us GUILTLESS. If we do not repent (die to self and our old life of sin. Submit our all to him- to live for him, love him, be dedicated to him, represent him in all we do and say) before we are baptized, then our baptism is no Good. God will NOT allow his blood to wash us, because our commitment to be married to him isn't there. 

How many folks have we seen get baptized in Jesus name and there was no change? God didn't fill them with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They kept on doing the same things, talking the same way, dressing the same ways. No evidence of God touching their lives at all. Why? Because there was no repentance before hand. No real love and dedication for their husband, so their groom never showed up at the altar! 

God became a man (Jesus) and died to create a bride (the church). He will not accept anything less than our all. False confessions, going through the motions, and checking the blocks are not accepted by him. Only our all will he accept. Then, he will show up at the altar and give us his saving name.

One more thing to drive this home. What does it mean to TAKE the name of the Lord? What does the word TAKE mean? Check out this list! Then, read each definition of "take" in place of "take" in the sentence, "Thou shalt not (take) the name of the Lord thy God in vain." I pray it will open your minds to just how serious this commandment truly is to God! 
        1) to lift, bear up, carry, take
a) (Qal)
1) to lift, lift up
2) to bear, carry, support, sustain, endure
3) to take, take away, carry off, forgive
b) (Niphal)
1) to be lifted up, be exalted
2) to lift oneself up, rise up
3) to be borne, be carried
4) to be taken away, be carried off, be swept away
c) (Piel)
1) to lift up, exalt, support, aid, assist
2) to desire, long (fig.)
3) to carry, bear continuously
4) to take, take away
d) (Hithpael) to lift oneself up, exalt oneself
e) (Hiphil)
1) to cause one to bear (iniquity)
2) to cause to bring, have brought

AV — (bare, lift, etc...) up 219, bear 115, take 58, bare 34, carry 30, (take, carry)..away 22, borne 22, armourbearer 18, forgive 16, accept 12, exalt 8,regard 5, obtained 4, respect 3, misc 74

Look through this list! Here's one chosen at random, as an example: "Thou shalt not (bear) the name of the Lord thy God in vain." That one will make you think some, huh? Remember that the next time the enemy tempts you to watch something, read something, or go somewhere you know God wouldn't approve. If you do, then you have just taken his name in vain! 

This verse includes cussing. However, it's so much more than that. It's a LIFESTYLE that honors our husband in all we do and say.