Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

The Ten Commandments

A Worthy God

Exodus 20.7

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[We started our study of the Ten Commandments by considering the nature of the law of God and discovered how the moral law of God, once written on stone is now written, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, upon the living flesh of our hearts.  For the lost the law is a schoolmaster, revealing their sinfulness and lostness, and striving to bring them to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. For the saved the law is now living and alive within them, activated and accentuated by the love of God within each child of God.  The law is not nullified but it is more real than ever, it is the natural result of the love of Christ within us.] 

[Therefore, the Ten Commandments and their fulfillment in our Christian lives becomes a confirmation of our salvation.  The willing and joyful fulfillment of the Ten Commandments is the Helmet of Salvation that affirms the relationship we now have with our Heavenly Father.] 

[In our study of the Ten Commandments we have discovered,] 

  • [1st Commandment – The Preeminence of God - Jehovah God is preeminent because there is no other God.  He, and He alone is God.]
  • [2nd Commandment The Living God – Jehovah God is the only living God. Because there are no other god’s.  Our Heavenly Father is Jealous for our souls that we might walk with him.  Idols or false god’s will only alienate us from God and rob us of the eternal life He reserves and desires for each of us.]

[Today, as we delve into the 3rd Commandment we will discover the singular worthiness of Jehovah God, or יהוה (Hb) Yahweh.  When God says,] 

[Exodus 20:7 7 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. ]

[God is calling each and every one of us to recognize and honor the incredible worthiness of God.  That there is one and only one God, and that He desires that His creation might willingly and willfully walk in sweet communion with Him, as is expressed in the first two commandments, now brings us to the unfathomable greatness and worthiness of Almighty God.] 

[Through the diligent study and consideration of this commandment we discover the supernatural, divine worthiness of God.] 

God is Worthy of, 

A.    His Magnification [– There are more words that could have been substituted for this first point.  We could have used glorification, we could have use adoration.  But I have chosen to use magnification because in this 3rd Commandment I sense beyond anything else that we must, in our human minds, gather some sense of the incredible greatness and insurmountability of God.  God truly is higher than the highest and greater than the greatest.  He is supremely supreme and exclusively sovereign.] 

[In his supremacy Almighty God is worthy of all honor and the highest level of honor.  His majesty is absolutely supreme and nothing else and no one else can compare to Jehovah God, the Lord God Almighty.  God expresses this supreme magnification through, ] 

1.      The Worthy Name of God (vs 7) [–  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD [elohim]  thy God [Yehweh] in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. – The name of God is sacred because the God to whom the name belongs is sacred.  The use of the name of God in any of its forms finds its strength through the one to whom the names belong.  When you mention, proclaim, pronounce, or use a name of God you are calling upon all that God is through that sacred name. ]  

[The Old Testament gives numerous names for God. Each and every one of them reveals something of the glorious character of our God and each further magnifies Jehovah God to us.  These names include,] 

[ELOHIM - Strong one (Gen 1.1)]

[EL ELYON - Most High God (Gen 14.22)]

[EL OLAM - Everlasting God (Gen 21.33; Ps 90.2)]

[EL SHADDAI - Almighty God (Gen 17.1)]

[EL GIBBOR - Mighty God (Isa 9.6-7)]

[EL ROI - The God who sees (Gen 16.13)]

[ADONAI - Lord (Master) (Josh 5.14; Isa 6.8-11)]

[YAHWEH - I am the one who is (Exod 3.14)]

[YAHWEH JIREH - The Lord provides (Gen 22.14)]

[YAHWEH NISSI - The Lord is my banner (Exod 17.1).]

YAHWEH SHALOM - The Lord is Peace (Judg 6.24)

[YAHWEH SABBAOTH - The Lord of hosts (1 Sam 1.3)]

[YAHWEH RAAH - The Lord my shepherd (Ps 23.1)]

[YAHWEH SHAMMAH - The Lord is there (Ezek 48.3)]

[YAHWEH ELOHIM - The Lord God of Israel (Judg 3.5; Isa 17.6)]

[YAHWEH TSIDKENU - The Lord our righteousness (Jer 23.6)]

[YAHWEH MACCADDESHCEM - The Lord our sanctifier (Exod 31.13)]

[YHWH YH - Jehovah - The Existing one; the proper name for God. This name for God was formed because the name YAHWEH was considered to sacred to be used, thus it is an artificial name for God (Gen 14.22; Isa 12.2).]

[YAHH - Contraction of YHWH YH - Jehovah in the shortened form - The existing one (Ps 68.4)] 

[In the New Testament we add,] 

[Theos – The Greek word translated God.]

[Emmanuel (Matt 1.23; cf. Isa 7.14 Immanuel) – God with us]

[The Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 1.21; Luke 1.31) – Jesus meaning Savior.  Christ is the Greek equivalent of Messiah or anointed one.] 

[The Jewish Scribes and the Names of God – The Jews felt that the names for God were too sacred to pronounce.  When a scribe was copying the Bible, when he would come to a name for God, he would stop, put down his pen, cleanse himself, pray, take up a new pen, and then pen the name of God.  All of this heightens the sense of reverence and fear that ought to be applied to the names of God.] 

[God commands us to approach His name with absolute reverence so that He, Almighty God, might be magnified in our minds, hearts, and lives.  Our God is a living, preeminent God and He must be held in the highest sense of honor and glory in our lives and worship.  Our God, Jehovah God, is a supremely worthy God.] 

2.      The Wicked use of God's Name (vs 7) [-  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD [elohim]  thy God [Yehweh] in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. – In our American culture today the names of God have lost most, if not all, of their majesty.  Many in our day have relinquished the name of our blessed Lord and the only begotten Son of God into nothing more than a mere expletive.  Even among self professing Christians the name of our Savior is only marginally sacred.  The Christian may vehemently protect the worthiness of our Lord’s name in their families vocabulary, but many think nothing of allowing programming and entertainment into their homes and lives that use God’s names in vanity. ]  

[Vain - שָׁוְא (Hb)  šāwe(ʾ) - 1. worthless Is 1:13; laššāw˒ in vain, without result Je 2:30; dibbēr šāw˒ speak empty words, falsely Is 59:4; nāśā˒ šēm laššāw˒ use a name unnecessarily, idly; misuse a name Ex 20:7; šēma˓/˓ēd šaw˓ empty = false report, witness Ex 23:1 Dt 5:20; (hablê) šāw˒ what is empty = idols Je 18:15 Ps 31:7; — 2. deceit, fraud Ps 24:4; — 3. adv. (in) vain: adv. Ps 89:48; w. inf. it is vain to … Ma 3:14.[1] ] 

[When we use, or allow God’s names to be used in vain, worthless, and defiling ways we are revealing the level of God’s stature in our lives.  The worthless use of God’s names in our lives and around our lives reveals that God is worthlessly esteemed by us.  God holds no majesty in the hearts and lives of those who allow God to be dishonored by them or around them.] 

[So why do Christians allow the wicked use of God’s name around them?  Because they would have to give up more than they want to give up to properly magnify God’s name in their homes and lives.  This means that something has become more important to you than God!  Something has assumed the throne of your life other than God. ]  

[What is more worthy in your life than God?  ] 

·         [Are your friends more worthy than the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your eternal salvation?] 

·         [Is your Job more worthy than Jehovah Jireh who has provided everything you have and own?] 

·         [Is your favorite television show more worthy than EL ROI (the God who sees) so that you would watch it in the presence of a holy God?] 

[Where is your sense of the worthiness of God?  When will you, my Christian friends, exalt the Lord God Almighty in your life and home and obey this 3rd Commandment that calls us to recognize the worthiness of God?  Are you magnifying Almighty God in your life and home?] 

B.     Your Consecration (1 Cor 6.9-11; Lev 19.12) [– Consecration deals with your agreement with God.  If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior then God has sanctified you.  The Bible says,] 

[1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.]

[When you received the Lord Jesus Christ, God set you apart for Himself, He sanctified you.  You are not the same as you used to be, you are completely different.  Consecration is where you recognize and acknowledge God’s sanctification and get your mind and life into the same place where God has placed you.  The problem with many Christians is that they have never gotten their mind into the same place where God has placed them.  They are saved but they have failed to cooperate with the change that accompanies their salvation.  So they try to act like the world and live like the lost while their Heavenly Father is trying to get them to act like His divine children and to act like heirs of God’s royal kingdom.] 

[Until, we get our minds and lives in the same place where our Heavenly Father has placed us we will struggle with the magnification of our eternally supreme God.  To help you understand a little better what God intends by not taking His name in vain lets look at,] 

[Leviticus 19:12 12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.]

[In Leviticus we have the reiteration of the law given by God in Exodus 20 only it is presented in a bit of a different form.  The difference between these two texts gives us a great deal of enlightenment of what God is saying to us through the Ten Commandments.  Notice that using God’s name properly includes, ]

1.      Your Promises (Lev 19.12; Matt 12.36; 5.33-37; 2 Cor 5.20) [– And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, . . . – Have you ever heard someone say, “Honest to God.”  Or perhaps, “I swear on a stack of Bibles.”  What do they mean when they say something like this?  Often little phrases like this just slip past someone’s lips and they give little thought to what they just said.  But God takes notice of every such phrase and commitment.  Jesus said,] 

[Matthew 12:36 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. ]

[God pays attention to the things you say, even the idle words, so you had better pay attention too.] 

[Swear -  שָׁבַע  (Hb) šā∙ḇǎʿ- swear on oath, promise, take an oath, adjure, i.e., make a promise to do something, or affirm the truth of a statement, with sanctions to follow if the conditions are not met (Eze 21:28[EB 23]a+),  see also 8652; (nif) swear an oath, make a sworn promise (Ge 24:7); (hif) make one swear an oath, give a charge (1Sa 14:27)[2] ] 

[In essence the word swear here means, “Don’t say you are going to do something and then not do it.”  Don’t give your word falsely, not while representing God and His name.  I have often heard it said that a man is only as good as His word.  Jesus said it this way in the New Testament, ] 

[Matthew 5:33-37 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. ]

[James wrote,]

[James 5:12 12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. ]

[Cross your fingers - Many of us like to play the childish game of crossing our fingers, toes, or something else when we give our word, as if it is okay to say something we don’t mean so long as we know we didn’t mean it.  But God says strongly and staunchly to remove all deception or pretention from our words.  We are to mean what we say and say what we mean.] 

[Now someone might wonder, what does my word have to do with using the Lord’s name in vain.  Well, God connects your word with His name when the Bible says,] 

[Leviticus 19:12 12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. ]

[You are God’s child, if you are born again, therefore you are God’s ambassador to this world.  The Bible says,] 

[2 Corinthians 5:20 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. ]

[In our world, if your word, as a child of God is deceptive, wicked, and unreliable then you destroy the trustworthiness and magnificence of the Word of God and the name of God as well.  You are God’s representative, how are you representing God?  Are you consecrated to Him in your promise or word?] 

2.      Your Persuasion (Lev 19.12) [- . . . neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: . . . –  Then the text in Leviticus brings us right back to the 3rd commandment again.  Your word or promises are undeniably connected to your view and handling of the majesty and names of Almighty God.] 

[Profane - חָלַל  (Hb) ḥā∙lǎl  - 1. LN 53.33-53.40 (piel) defile, profane, treat with contempt, i.e., ceremonially or ritually be common and impure in the eyes of deity and/or society, seen as a violation of covenant (Lev 19:8), see also LN 88.256–88.261; (nif) defiled, profaned, desecrated (Lev 21:4, 9; Isa 48:11; Eze 7:24; 20:9, 14, 22; 22:16, 26; 25:3+): (pual) be defiled (Eze 36:23+); (hif) let be profaned (Eze 39:7+); 2. LN 68.1-68.10 (hif) begin, proceed, launch, i.e., initiate a process (Ge 6:1); (hof) be begun (Ge 4:26+); 3. LN 65.30-65.39 (piel) use, formally, make common use of, i.e., make a good use of something of some value, implying an enjoyment of the object (Dt 20:6); 4. LN 87.58-87.75 (piel) dishonor, formally, profane, i.e., cause one to be of lower status and so be in a humbled position (La 2:2); 5. LN 87.58-87.75 unit: (piel) חָלַל גָּאֹון (ḥā∙lǎl gā∙ʾôn) humble, formally, degrade the proud, i.e., cause one to be of lower status and so in a humbled position (Isa 23:9); 6. LN 33.463-33.469 unit: (hif) חָלַל דָּבָר (ḥā∙lǎl dā∙ḇār) break a promise, formally, profane a word, i.e., announce a statement with certainty to occur and then not in fact happen (Nu 30:3[EB 2]), note: for MT text in Mic 6:13, see 2728[3]] 

[Again we are reminded to magnify and exalt the name of Jehovah God greatly in our hearts, lives and homes.  We should never do, say, or allow anything into our lives that would desecrate, dishonor, or denigrate the Lord God Almighty.] 

3.      His Proclamation (Lev 19.12; Exo 20.7; Heb 10.31) [– Notice how God finishes out our verse here in Leviticus.  God says,] 

[Leviticus 19:12 12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. ]

[Go back to the tird commandment and notice what God proclaims there.] 

[Exodus 20:7 7 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. ]

[God calls upon us to honor and magnify the name and glory of our Heavenly Father to the highest level based upon the highest authority available.  God himself is the authority and accountability behind this lofty command.  These phrases remind me of what Paul wrote,] 

[Hebrews 10:31 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.]

[Why did Paul write this profoundly fearful statement.  Paul wrote,]

[Hebrews 10:29-31 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ]

[My friends I remind you again that your handling of the names of God reflect the tenor of you heart toward God.  What does your life reveal about the majesty and magnificence of God in your heart?]

C.    His Declaration [– Perhaps someone here is still not completely convinced about how strongly God feels about taking His name in vain.] 

1.      The Strongest Punishment (Lev 24.10-16) [– An example of this commandment applied in real life situations is given here in Leviticus.  The text reads,] 

[Leviticus 24:10-16 10 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; 11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) 12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. 13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. 16 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.]

[This is an astounding text.  To think, what would happen if this were applied in America today?  There would be executions all across our land.  The death rate would be astounding.  Actually, if this commandment had been maintained in our society the death rate would be small and almost nonexistent.  If people did not tolerate profanity and the misuse of God’s name then it would not permeate our society today at all.]

[The whole point of this passage is to cause us to grasp how strongly God feels about the wicked use of His name and what it implies and represents.  blaspheming the name of God reveals a heart and life that does not honor God and that is abominable in the sight of God.]

2.       The Strongest Principle [– The principle of this command is connected to the previous two commands.  If you know and fully understand the preeminence of God and worship the only living God then you will find God worthy of your dedication and life.  So the question generated by this command is profound.  Is God Worthy?  Is God Worthy in your life?  Is God Worthy in your Home?] 

[1]Holladay, W. L., Köhler, L., & Köhler, L. (1971). A concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament. (361). Leiden: Brill.

[2]Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLH 8678). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3]Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLH 2725, #6). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


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