DAY 157 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE LAW
YOU SHALL NOT MISUSE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD, FOR THE LORD WILL NOT HOLD ANYONE GUILTLESS WHO MISUSES HIS NAME.
READING: Leviticus 19: 12; Leviticus 24: 16; Jeremiah 14: 14-15
When you were a child, were you taught that you shouldn't use the Lord's name as a swear word - that it was wrong to say "Jesus!" if you hit your thumb with a hammer? It's true that one of the Commandments states that we should not misuse the name of the Lord - but doesn't this go a little further than simply invoking His name when you hurt yourself?
What does misuse really mean? One of our readings for today is the story of the Shelomith's son, who used the Lord's name to call down a curse on the Egyptian's son. He was stoned to death for blaspheming God's name. He was not using the Lord’s name as a mere swear word, he was calling curses down on another man, stating that these curses were from the Lord. When you say that God has said something in order to invoke power or draw on some kind of authority to add influence to your words, you are using the Lord’s name in vain - or misusing the Lord's name.
This is similar to the false prophets in Jeremiah saying that God will not send famine or sword, when actually, that is exactly what He was doing. Do not say that God has said something that He has not.
Know that you have the Holy Spirit – He will guide you into all things that God has for you. You do not have to guess what God is saying. He promises to speak to His people. Jesus said that His sheep know His voice – then take comfort in this – you are His sheep, so you will know His voice. Approach him boldly, with faith and confidence; He will answer your prayers.
Lord, forgive me where I have misused Your name for my own purposes. I ask for more of Your Spirit. Teach me Your ways and show me Your will so that I may walk into the things that You have promised me for my life.
For the family
Tell your children how Jesus says that “my sheep know my voice” and that means they will hear His voice. Encourage them that the Spirit is always speaking, but we must be listening to hear His voice.
Make bedtime each night a time of prayer. But instead of saying words to God all the time, show the children how prayer time should also be a time of listening. Ask your children if they can hear what God is saying to them at this time. Then talk about the things that God is speaking to them about.
If they are struggling to hear God’s voice, try an exercise where everyone must be quiet, so that each person can listen carefully for the sounds that they hear. Get your children to write down what they are hearing or tell you afterwards. When they are getting better at listening carefully, try listening for what God is saying again, and this time, get them to listen to the still, small voice inside of them where the Spirit dwells.