It was Monday morning and Bernadette Henderson was taking a stroll through the park enjoying the sounds of the morning birds. About halfway through the park, she saw someone she thought she knew from church sitting on a bench and decided to go over to her and say hi. As she neared the bench she was able to tell that it was none other than April Zaspella.
“Hi, April!” Bernadette called out, “Mind if I set beside you?” “I'd love the company, Bernadette.” April said with a smile. “How did you know it was me?” Bernadette asked as she sat down, “I thought you couldn't see?” “I can't” April replied, “But I can hear and I know your voice from church.”
“What brings you to the park?” Bernadette asked. “I'm just meditating on yesterday's sermon and thinking up a poem to help me remember it.” “Oh.” Bernadette injected. “How did you like the sermon yesterday?” April asked. “It was alright.” Bernadette answered, But I couldn't understand why Randy kept telling us God doesn’t want his name used in Spain.”
“What did you say?” April asked thinking she heard wrong. “Is said I couldn't understand why Randy kept telling us God doesn’t want his name used in Spain.” “I don't remember Randy saying that.” April said. “Of course he did.” Bernadette insisted, “He said his sermon was bout the third commandment - Don’t use God’s name in Spain.” “Oh boy!” April said shaking her head.
“I keep asking myself 'Isn’t God’s name good enough to use in Spain?'” Bernadette said. “Yes Bernadette.” April giggled, “It is good enough. In fact It’s good enough to be used everywhere.” “Then why can’t they use it in Spain?” Bernadette asked, “Is God afraid they'll us His name the wrong way?”
“Well...” April said, “That’s close to what the third commandment says - don’t use God’s name in vain.” When Bernadette heard that she started shouting, “Vain!? Vain?! I thought Randy said Spain!” “Nope.” April giggled, “He said vain.” “Oh great.” Bernadette said slapping her forehead, “Do you know what that means?”
“Of course I do.” April said with a smile. “Now I'm going to have to crawl up on our roof.” “What?!” April exclaimed, “What does your roof have to do with it?” “Where else would I find a vane.” Bernadette snorted, “I just hope nobody put God’s name on our weather vane. I wouldn’t want to be breaking the third commandment.”
“What are we going to do with you?” April asked shacking her head. “How about holding the ladder for me.” Bernadette answered, “That way I won't fall.” “No,” April answered, “I think I'll just stay here and work on my poem.” “Suit yourself.” Bernadette said as she stood up to go, “I just hope I don't fall.”
Bernadette, she'll mix things up and still not come far from the truth for it is not only those in Spain but everywhere that need to use God's name correctly.
After these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and intended to fight against Jerusalem, he planned with his officers 2 Chronicles 32:1-3a (ESV)
Hezekiah was one of the good kings of Judah and had done much to return the people back to God. Now Sennacherib king of Assyria was planning to make war against Jerusalem. Hezekiah started prepping fro war. Let's see what happens.
He planned with his officers and his mighty men to stop the water of the springs that were outside the city; and they helped him. A great many people were gathered, and they stopped all the springs and the brook that flowed through the land, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?" He set to work resolutely and built up all the wall that was broken down and raised towers upon it, and outside it he built another wall, and he strengthened the Millo in the city of David. He also made weapons and shields in abundance. And he set combat commanders over the people and gathered them together to him in the square at the gate of the city and spoke encouragingly to them, saying, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles." And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
After this, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who was besieging Lachish with all his forces, sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, "Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, 'On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem? Is not Hezekiah misleading you, that he may give you over to die by famine and by thirst, when he tells you, "The LORD our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria"? Has not this same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, "Before one altar you shall worship, and on it you shall burn your sacrifices"? Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands at all able to deliver their lands out of my hand? Who among all the gods of those nations that my fathers devoted to destruction was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!' " And his servants said still more against the Lord GOD and against his servant Hezekiah. And he wrote letters to cast contempt on the LORD, the God of Israel and to speak against him, saying, "Like the gods of the nations of the lands who have not delivered their people from my hands, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people from my hand." And they shouted it with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, in order that they might take the city. And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands.
2 Chronicles 32:3-19 (ESV)
Hezekiah cuts off the outside water supply, strengthens the city, makes weapons and encourages the people and then Sennacherib starts the war …. with a war of words doing his best to discourage the people treating God as some worthless idol
Exodus 20:7 says 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. (ESV) So, what does it mean by “vain” use of God's name? To treat God's name vain is to make it: empty, false, worthless. It is to profane or misuse it. We need to give God's name respect, honor and glory.
Here's Something To Ponder
- How often do you treat God's name in vain as in OMG, etc?
- Does it bother you when other's treat God's name in vain?