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Lesson 5: January 28-February 3

‘That the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed’

 

MEMORY VERSE: ‘Thou 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.’ Exodus 20:7. 

STUDY HELP: Sons & Daughters of God, page 57.

LESSON AIM: To consider the scope of the Third Commandment.

 

Introduction

 

‘“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Those who are brought into covenant relation with God are pledged to speak of Him in the most respectful, reverential manner. Many refer to God and mention His name in their religious conversation much as they would mention a horse or any other common creature. This dishonours God. By precept and example parents should educate their children on this point, lest by irreverence they grieve away God’s Spirit from their hearts and the hearts of their children. Ministers, by carelessly introducing the name of God into their conversation, may teach lessons of irreverence. By mingling His holy name with common matters, they show that they are not spiritually-minded; for they mingle the sacred and the common. They are not living up to their holy profession. While claiming to be worshipers of God, they walk contrary to His law. Swearing, and all words spoken in the form of an oath, are dishonouring to God. The Lord sees, the Lord hears, and He will not hold the transgressor guiltless. He will not be mocked. Those who take the name of the Lord in vain will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’  Sermons & Talks, volume 2, page 185.

 

‘He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD’

 

1. What is the third of the Ten Commandments? Exodus 20:7.

NOTE: ‘The third commandment condemns the profane swearer, but the spirit of the precept reaches farther still, and forbids that the name of God be introduced into the conversation in a careless or irreverent manner. Many, even of the professed followers of Christ, are in the habit of using lightly the name of God, and, even in their prayers and exhortations, do not use the Supreme name with a proper solemnity.’ Spirit of Prophecy, volume 2, page 222.

‘“Thou 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.” The name of God is holy and must not be used lightly, profanely, nor vainly. Often in the Scriptures the direction is given, “Neither shalt thou profane My holy name.” The word profane means to make common. The name of God is not to be used in a way, nor with a frequency, that will make it to us as a common word or name. To use that holy name unnecessarily is to use it vainly, and is transgression of the commandment. To speak it in a connection, or with a frequency, that will detract from the reverence that becomes that sacred name, is to take the name of the Lord in vain, and is sin. The word reverend is used but once in the Bible and then with sole reference to that holy name, saying, “Holy and reverend is His name.” Psalm 111:9. And His express will is “that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 28:58.’ A. T. Jones: Signs of the Times, August 11, 1887.

 

2. When Moses was faced with a breach of this commandment, how seriously was it regarded by God? Leviticus 24:11-16.

NOTE: ‘On one occasion the son of an Israelitish woman and of an Egyptian, one of the mixed multitude that had come up with Israel from Egypt, left his own part of the camp, and entering that of the Israelites, claimed the right to pitch his tent there. This the divine law forbade him to do, the descendants of an Egyptian being excluded from the congregation until the third generation. A dispute arose between him and an Israelite, and the matter being referred to the judges was decided against the offender. Enraged at this decision, he cursed the judge, and in the heat of passion blasphemed the name of God. He was immediately brought before Moses. The command had been given, “He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 21:17); but no provision had been made to meet this case. So terrible was the crime that there was felt to be a necessity for special direction from God. The man was placed in ward until the will of the Lord could be ascertained. God Himself pronounced the sentence; by the divine direction the blasphemer was conducted outside the camp and stoned to death. Those who had been witness to the sin placed their hands upon his head, thus solemnly testifying to the truth of the charge against him. Then they threw the first stones, and the people who stood by afterward joined in executing the sentence. This was followed by the announcement of a law to meet similar offences: “Thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:15, 16.’ Patriarchs & Prophets, pages 407-408.

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