This broadcaster has 257 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
August 13, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Brian Hand continues a chapel series entitled “Oh How I Love They Law.” Today’s scripture passage is Exodus 20:7.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist, Dr. Bob Jones senior. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything. So he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the university chapel platform.
Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series entitled Oh How I Love Thy Law, which is a study of the Ten Commandments. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Brian Hand of the Bob Jones University Seminary. B.J., you President Steve Pettit will introduce him.
We're continuing our series this morning on Oh, How I Love Thy Law. And so today we're privileged to have Dr. Brian Hand from our seminary come and speak and he'll announce the theme as we are working through the Ten Commandments.
Dr. Hand will be in Exodus Chapter 20 this morning, Exodus Chapter 20, verse seven. This message is a bit out of place for two reasons. We just cover the first commandment yesterday, but we're going onto the third commandment again, partly because of the snow day and our schedules. We needed to move on to that and then come back to the second commandment in the future. So that's out of place, clearly.
But there's another reason that this message is out of place. And that is what the Lord has to address in this passage and in this commandment is something that is completely dissonant with what a Christian ought to be, is completely out of place of the Lord, not even half to raise such an issue with reference to people that are brought into a relationship with him in the Old Testament, by the Old Covenant, in the Mosaic law, and in our day through the New Covenant that we find in Jesus Christ.
So there's profound dissonance here. First Chronicles urges us as far as this topic is concerned. It urges us concerning the glory that is due his name.
And that passage and First Chronicles tells us, given to the Lord the glory, do unto his name, bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. That passage implies the possibility that God's people could treat his name with contempt.
God's people could mishandle it, could misuse it. But that chronicles passage is also a positive reference to the the negative, really, that we're covering today. That is, it's urging us to do something, give God the glory that's due his name.
Whereas Exodus is telling us what not to do. Let's read Exodus 20, verse seven together, please.
Thou shall not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless.
Take it his name in vain.
In 2005, several members of the Women's NCW eight championship lacrosse team of that particular year or flipflops to a ceremony with the President of the United States at the White House, social and mainstream media immediately were abuzz with this apparent impropriety.
And there were people on both sides of the equation. They had some defenders who said, really, come on, we're in a new era. Nobody can tell anybody what to do. There is no such thing really as a propriety in this particular circumstance. And then, of course, they had others, including their own parents, who were appalled at the fact that they couldn't see that visiting the White House for a ceremony with the president in their honor deserved a little bit more attention and care and respect to be given to the situation. Well, regardless of what we might think concerning the situation, and we don't have to weigh in and decide it today, everyone involved at the time admitted that the students could have taken better care. They could have attended to it a little bit better and showed more respect, a kind of respect that the again, the office of the president and the location as well as the gravity of the ceremony would have deserved. Apparently, even within our culture, most people think that there are people in circumstances that deserve honor, that deserve our respect.
And typically, when a person has either the capability or character that is elevated to the very extent that his character or capability is elevated, we give him more respect. So a person who hits more home runs gets more respect, more honor than a person who hits fewer.
But that's not always the case. What do we have when we confront the issue of a God who is perfect in holiness? Perfect injustice, perfect and wisdom. Perfect and might. And yet people will not give him respect. In fact, they do exactly the opposite.
Exodus Chapter 20 warns us with this theme today Since God judges those who misuse his name, you must give him the glory that's due his name.
And it's going to be unfolded because most of this passage is really application. It's fairly clear on a very straightforward level what the passage is saying, but it really can be applied in three different areas that the Old Testament unfolds for us.
The first of these areas is going to be reverence. Then we'll move to truth and then to concern or care for the name of the Lord. The name of a person is intimately associated with that person.
It represents him so much so that if you were merely to attack the name of my wife, for example, that would be adequate cause for me to be a little disturbed at what you were doing.
Why? Because the name is connected with the person. If you take the name of somebody we care about, you're attacking the person.
And so it is when people attack the name of God, they're actually attacking him when they brush aside his name or treat it as if it's worthless or useless. Just a throwaway word in sentences. They're attacking the person of God.
Of course, that has no place in us who are his people. This means we have to understand exactly what the sin involves and how to avoid it through the spirits help. And we want to do this again.
The whole Ten Commandments rests on the foundation of a relationship that God is establishing with his people. If you are rightly related to God, the Ten Commandments now are not some external thing that were given to Israel long ago, but rather they well up within us because the spirit of God calls us to live a life like this, a life that is giving God the honor it's due.
His name, the proper treatment of God's name then consists of several key ideas here, the first of which is you must use his name with deep reverence. Probably the most obvious point of this is a prohibition against cursing.
Outright blasphemy reveals a hostility of heart and an antipathy or hatred of God in an aggressive form that is completely inappropriate for the people of God to slander him through.
Cursing is clearly malicious and evil, but it would be unreasonable to assume that all of you are in fact genuinely devoted to God. There may really be hostility in your heart. Could you hear then the last portion of that verse, which reminds us that the Lord will not hold him guiltless, who takes his name in vain? That is, he will not simply brushed aside and say it's no big deal, it's OK. But there are actually consequences for mishandling the name of God.
The second half of Leviticus, 19 12 addresses the same point and warns us that honor is a key part of treating God's name properly. That verse says Neither shout thou profane the name of the Lord, thy God, I am the Lord.
So it brings to bear as similar wording and similar terminology that we have an Exodus 20 and says that one of the folk focuses or one of the foci of Exodus 20 is this reverence. You cannot profane his name.
So that makes us wonder, where does cursing really come from? Why do people curse? Typically, people don't curse when life is good, when everything is going really well. They typically curse out of a heart of unbelief or out of anger. It's a warning to us that our heart gets so stirred up because of something bad that has happened to us that we are responding to the situation and actually misusing God's name. Have you ever thought about what that really does, though?
That's essentially taking whatever suffering you're involved in, whatever suffering or frustration you're experiencing it and throwing it back at God's feet, not just with a recognition that he has providentially in control of calamity, but throwing it back at his feet or or rather in his face and saying, you're wrong to have done this. You're evil for for me to have suffered such calamity.
And that's an abuse of his name.
When has a CIA refused to surrender the city of Jerusalem?
To Rab Shakar in the Old Testament, who is sent by the Assyrian king Sinak Arab to.
Man, the surrender of the city and win has a guy refused that surrender and when instead he sought help from the law authorizing the prophet, Rab Shakir responded with a violent tirade that we have recorded several times in the Old Testament, one of which is Isaiah, 36, in which he spoke against the Lord. Be aware, lest has a CIA persuade you saying the Lord will deliver us half any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the King of a Syria.
Where are the gods of Hammat and Arpad? Where the Gods of Safavi? Have they delivered some area out of my hand?
Who are they among all the gods of these lands that have delivered their land out of my hand that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand.
This official of the Assyrians was basically mad.
He was angry that a Syria was going to have to invest Jerusalem to cast up siege mounds against it, to spend time, energy and blood trying to take the city.
And that anger boiled over into slander and cursing the God of Israel. You probably know the story has a guy actually took the letter. The angry tirade of this, a Syrian official. And he went up before the Lord and he prayed. And that night, Angel of the Lord struck one hundred and eighty five thousand Syrians dead, destroyed the might of his Syria and both the king of a Syria and his officials that remained returned to Syria in disgrace.
Does that sound a little bit like the Lord will not hold him guiltless?
Take it his name in vain?
Slander was rebutted by God. So it is when our in our culture, when people don't get their way, they curse. Reflexively, they curse. They lodge a complaint against God. In this past December. I was on Facebook who saw former students updates and I really enjoy getting updates from students. I like to follow where they are, how the Lord is leading them in life. But this was a different case altogether. A student who sat in my Bible classes and my Greek classes had nothing but hostility and cursing and angry tirades against God and against his people and against his church partly thought, how can this possibly be? The man was training for ministry just a few years ago, and yet now his life and heart are filled exclusively with malice against God. He has let go the reverence and is spiraling into a sin that is continuing to bring judgment and will bring greater judgment against him. Yes, life is stressful, but stress should not produce cursing in us, but rather faith. When we're under pressure, we run to the Lord and say, Yes, Lord, we're hurting.
And that may be physical. That may be emotional. It may be spiritual pain that we're experiencing or social pain. But run to the Lord and later had his feet in submission, not in hostility. Show him the honor that's due his name through reverence.
Even our culture has recognized very profoundly with a number of studies that currently primetime television is using obscenities about at about the rate of 20 obscenities for every 1000 words spoken in primetime television.
That's two percent of the total words on television.
That's tragic enough as it is. But they subdivide the obscenities into categories of of cursing against God and then sexual obscenities and then scatological obscenities and several other smaller categories. And the problem is, in the analysis of many of the researchers, as well as in contributing posts by other people. More and more of our culture is weighing in and saying, cursing God that shouldn't even be considered obscene.
That's just that's ordinary life. And God himself doesn't exist. Men and women, brothers and sisters. Will you join this world in hostility towards God? Supporting that kind of hostility in your speech, the way you handle the reverence of God's name?
Well, our passage is applicable and a developable in another direction. And that is you must use God's name with complete truthfulness. So we not only have reverence, but we also have truth. At first glance, it seems of the passage merely says don't curse. And that's correct. But the passage actually reads, you shall not take up.
It's not take along God's name. It's you shall not take up or hold God's name at all in vain and apparel.
Well, passage such as in Exodus, chapter twenty three, verse one, tells us that raising up of his name is actually pertaining to a false witness as well.
Thou shalt not raise a false report. Raise is the same term take up and false is the same word as vain. You shall not raise a false report put not by hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. In other words, people are taking the name of God upon themselves either by swearing an oath. I am a child of God that commands us.
Then, to be truthful in your promises, either by swearing an oath in the name of God or by simply saying I'm a Christian.
Do you know when you tell people you are a Christian, you are taking up the name of God and applying it to yourself? And then if you are careless in your speech, you have taken up the name of God in vain.
God made no difference in your life.
Your word is no more true than a person of this world's. His name has not affected you for good. It's vanity. It's empty. It's false. Another parallel passage illustrates this point in Leviticus 1912, the first part.
We've already quoted the second part of that verse. But the passage says, you shall not swear by my name falsely. And that word falsely is once again our word vanity. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord that God in vain. Don't lift up the name of God and be false in what you're doing, in your behavior, your promises, the passage. And also continues, though you're to be truthful in your representations of God. How else do people take up the name? Well, we do so by naming him directly. So be truthful there. We also do so indirectly with just the way our lives are lived. Romans two twenty four warns the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you. How so?
Well, he's addressing the Jews at that point, but the people around Israel are looking at Israel and then saying so much for their God.
He doesn't do anything. We haven't even given over our gods. And yet Israel quickly at the drop of a hat, abandons its gods and follows after bale or follows after Cheam off shore follows after another gods of one of the other nations. And through our conduct or behavior and the way that we have lifted up God's name. Oh, yes, I'm a follower of Jehovah. And yet I look exactly like the world. The world around me. Blasphemes God through me.
Or maybe second Samuel 12 14. Which says in regard to David Sin. Because by this deed I was given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme the child also that his born into the shall surely die.
Now, does that mean then, as far as our sin is concerned, that if we send in this way, God will not forgive? Now, that's not what the passage says. It says that the Lord will not hold him guiltless. There will be consequences, just as there were with David. But did God forgive David? Absolutely. He will continue to forgive us. But his forgiveness does not mean that he will remove all consequences when we slander his holy name in the summer of nineteen ninety six ninety seven, I had the privilege of working at the wilds and during one of the weeks in the second summer that I was there, the wilds had told the church, hey, just bring we're going to sponsor some kids. So just bring a couple of kids that are unbelievers in your community. Boy, did they ever. I found out when the week was over that they brought everything that they weren't allowed to have at the wilds, you know, Chinese stars, knives, cigarets, fireworks, everything. Just about these guys were were pretty bad dudes and they were pretty proud of it. At the same time, well, as the week wore on, I tried to get them. Aside from the rest of the group, Cynthia, Christians within the cabin with another counselor for one of the God nighttimes. And I just took these two guys, Matt and Russ aside, they said, who has spent some time with you? And I said, know, here's the gospel and this is the mess you're making of your life. And God offers redemption to you. And I cannot forget their response. They looked at me with all seriousness and said, with the way these guys in the cabin live, what were they were free to all throughout the rest of the week.
The Christians in the cabin dragged their feet on every. Saying they whine, they gripe, they were hostile, they were indifferent, they were indifferent in the services, crossing their arms, slumping down, going to sleep.
I don't care about God. I don't care about his word.
I'm Christian. Like, that makes any difference. And these two guys who are unbelievers and admittedly so says, why should we believe your God when he makes no difference in the life of the people who was crushed?
How do you answer that? How do you rebut that?
The name of God was blasphemed among the unbelievers on the account of his people. They had taken up the name of God in fame.
It was useless, worse than useless. That gave a false report of who God is, the Bible is calling for us to treat the Lord's name with very great seriousness.
And so the passage moves onto our third application, and that is you must use God's name with thoughtful care, with just care.
The word vaine itself can express in many contexts just emptiness, thoughtlessness. When we speak of God, we ought to have the most attentive of hearts and minds. A keen, focused and great care. Profanity is more than malicious swearing. Do you know what the word profanity means? Profane simply means common sticking God's name in as if it's a pause and your sentence as if it's an interjection. As if it has no more value than. So you can't think of something to say next. Is stick God's name in. You just want to express surprise at something. Stick God's name in.
About a year ago ran across one of our fellow students here as I happened to be passing on the sidewalk. She exclaimed, Oh, my. And she just threw out the Lord's name. And it was just out of shock or surprise, something her friend was saying. I paused for just a minute and said, You're using the Lord's name this way. Don't you need to exercise greater care? And her response was, oh, I didn't mean anything by it.
What do you think vanity is?
I didn't mean it. I didn't mean anything by taking up the name of God.
It was a throwaway word in my thought and in my sentence. I had no care or concern for it. Sometimes we don't go so far as blaspheming God directly. We're just careless. And so, however, this word is touching your heart this morning in regard to the third command. Realize how holy and how noble your God is and treat his name properly. One of my children hit a stage at about 18 months old. He's not this little anymore.
He's 12 now, but he had a stage in which he followed my wife around the house going.
Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy.
You worked so hard to get your kids to call you mommy and daddy. And then they learn it and then they won't shut up. From that point on. So it's mommy is so cute. You're like a cute little kid. Be quiet. Like Mommy became merely an interjection for.
I want food. I want a snack. I want a drink. I'm tired. Can you play with me? Just on and on. It wore on my wife.
I came to visit her one day and she's sitting there rocking quietly recorded like, OK. Daniel, you come with me. Vanity.
He's not. There's no great connection. There's no great thought with that. It's hilarious what a two year old does. It not so funny when adults do.
Can we take God's name seriously and not use it in vain?
Consider for a moment what the following actually mean. He is God.
The most high God, the Lord, the Lord, God Almighty, the everlasting God, the Lord of hosts.
He is. The Lord will provide. He is the Lord who heals you. He is the Lord is my banner.
The Lord who sanctifies you, the Lord, our righteousness, the jealous God. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end. Can you join with me on the basis of what the Lord is urging us to with the Spirit of God at Leive alive in you springing up to compel your behavior, and because God judges those who misuse his name, will you give him the glory that's due his name? Father, we're thankful for this word. It's a great reminder when we dwell on it. We see Your Holiness. We see Your Majesty. We we treat you as the God that you are to Christ we pray in.
My listening friend, can I ask you a question? Have you received the crucified resurrected Jesus as your own personal savior? No doubt. God is speaking to your heart. There's a knock on the door of your heart and he's asking to come in. Would you personally, individually right now call upon the name of the Lord? Ask Jesus to be your Savior for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Let me urge you to do that right now. May God bless you.
You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Brian Hand.
I'm Steve Petitt, president of Bob Jones University. Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform, the Bob Jones University School for continuing online and professional education offers convenient and affordable online programs. Whether you're seeking to expand your skills, pursue a passion or develop a ministry on your own time, qualified and engaged instructors will help you reach your goals. For more information, visit scope dot. B.J., you dot.
E.D., you are call eight eight eight two five three nine eight three three.
Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series on the Ten Commandments here on The Daily Platform.