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Are You Serious? (3 of 10)
Series: The Ten Commandments
The third message in a series of ten sermons on the Ten Commandments.
''You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.'' Exodus 20:7.
Theme: Speak and live the Lord's name respectfully and honestly.
What's in a Name?
What comes to your mind when you hear these names? Judas, Paul the Apostle, George Washington, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Robin Williams? We associate a person's names with a person's character, who they really are. This is usually the case. Of course, more than one person with the nickname ''Tiny'' wasn't known to be very tiny. For the Hebrews, the name could not be separated from the reality. A person's name had to do with their very being. For that reason, the name could not be treated slightly. To belittle or misuse someone's name was to assault their character, their person. The name is the person!
The Third Commandment in History
There are several ways that this third commandment has been interpreted in history by both Jews and Christians. There are two names for God in Exodus 20:7. One is the more common generic name for God of ''Elohim.'' But the other name for God is the personal name for God, that of ''Yahweh.'' The Jews took the third commandment so literally that they would not publicly speak God's personal name in fear that they might take His name in vain.
Because the name of God was so holy, and because they feared taking God's name in vain, the Hebrews came up with an ingenious way of not saying God's name. Instead of pronouncing ''Yahweh,'' when they read the Old Testament, the Hebrews would say ''Adonai'' which means ''My Great Lord.'' In written texts the vowels of ''Adonai'' were combined with the consonants (letters) of ''YHWH'' to remind the readers to pronounce ''Adonai'' instead of ''Yahweh.''
Historically, some Christians have taken this ...
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