“Never use the name of Yahweh your Elohim carelessly. Yahweh will make sure that anyone who carelessly uses his name will be punished (Exodus.20:7)
Hmm, “don’t use God‘s name in vain, or carelessly?” Hmm. Well, first, as you see in the translation I used, “God” is not His name. It is YHWH. No, we don’t know exactly how to pronounce it, but it is not “God.” When we call out to “God,” it is no different to calling out to “President” or “Plumber.” God is a title, not a name. So, the next time you pray, call out His name. He told you to:
“Give thanks to Yahweh.
Call on his name.
Make known among the nations what he has done” (I Chronicles 16:8)
Give thanks to Yahweh.
Call on his name.
Make known among the nations what he has done (Psalm 105:1)
Pour your fury on the nations that do not know you,
on the kingdoms that have not called out your name (Psalm 79:6)
This is the sweetest one:
“I made myself accessible
to those who didn’t ask for me,
I let myself be found
by those who didn’t seek me.
I said, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’
to a nation not called by my name (Isaiah 65:1)
Don’t you see how He is calling out to you? Don’t you see the love, the care He has for you?
For then I will change the peoples,
so that they will have pure lips,
to call on the name of Adonai, all of them,
and serve him with one accord (Zephaniah 3:9)
“I call your name from the deepest pit, O Yahweh” (Lamentations 3:55)
You call on the name of your gods, but I will call on the name of Yahweh. The god who answers by fire is the real Elohim.”
All the people answered, “That’s fine” (I Kings 18:24)
Over and over we are told to call out to Him, to use His Name. Use your own Concordance. Search for His Name and you will far more than those I have given you. I know you are attempting to honor Him by using G-d, but He is crying. He desires for you know Him — intimately — and when you do those things, it saddens Him. Better yet, if you are in His family, simply call Him, “Father.” Paul explained, “You have received the spirit of Yahweh’s adopted children by which we call out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). Oh, how dear and loving that is!
This is why you will never hear me say, “Oh God . . .” No, I call out to “Yahweh,” or almost always (I don’t even remember when I began to) call Him “Father . . .” He gave us His permission. Honest. It is such a joy.
Let me repeat something I have said many times: whenever we see God or Lord in our Bibles, almost everytime, the actual word used is in Hebrew יהוה (transliterated: YHWH). It is often pronounced as Yahweh, Yehoveh, Jehovah, and a few others. we don’t know. But, it is His personal name. As Exodus 3:13-15 states,
“This is what you must say to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the Elohim of your ancestors, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever. This is my title throughout every generation!”
Now, the second thing we need to understand is that contrary t0 what preachers often tell us, the primary principle of the third Word isn’t about using profanity. That may be part of what He is talking about. But, the Hebrew word used here is shav. Shav can refer to profanity, or as other translations say, “vanity,” but it more means, false, or worthless, or careless, or empty words of speech. It is saying that whenever you use Yahweh‘s name, it has to be done with great care, with the highest reverence. Never frivolous.
I have studied this thing backward and forward and it is clear that the reason for the third commandment is to never invoke Yahweh’s name carelessly. Like we would do in a vow. The reason is quite clear. When you vow something and use Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh to guarantee that vow (I swear to God), you have no choice but to fulfill that vow, regardless of the consequence. If you don’t fulfill that vow, you have, indeed, taken His name in vain.
I also contend that because the Lord has His Holy Name written over 6000 times in His Word; and in several Scriptures it plainly directs us to call on His name or to do something in His name, it is inconceivable to me that we can‘t do the very thing we are told to do: say His name!
As I have already explained, we can‘t be sure just how we should pronounce His Holy Name (because we have no idea of the ancient Hebrew vowel sounds). However, even if we did know for sure the vowel sounds, not everyone would pronounce His name perfectly because we speak different languages.
The principle of the third word isn‘t about mispronouncing His Holy Name, it is about misusing His Holy Name.
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