May 16: Revere God’s Name

Read Micah 3:1-12

“For as long as they’re well paid and well fed, the prophets preach, ‘Isn’t life wonderful! Peace to all!’ But if you don’t pay up and jump on their bandwagon, their ‘God bless you’ turns into ‘God damn you.’ “(v11, MSG).

They thought they were the ones who ruled the world, as if Almighty God would bow to their prescription for how life should be. As if simply claiming His name were enough to make them true believers and their words as solid as action.

But Yahweh knew the truth. He knew their hearts. He saw their injustice. God had seen the heads of Israel devour the poor in their midst. He’d witnessed their oppression, demanding money for their blessings.

It was the epitome of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Claiming His name for their own convenience.

I used to think that third commandment spoke only to those who said God’s name as a filler in a sentence. You know, as if God were a mere exclamation. When God commanded through Moses, You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name, I thought He was only talking about verbage.

But misusing God’s name is more than just saying words. Because His name is to be feared, He demands that we take it seriously — in what we say as much as in how we act.

Claiming to be a God-follower is altogether different than actually following God.

The prophets of Israel in Micah’s time had this taking-the-Lord’s-name-in-vain thing down to a science. Using His name for their own gain. Acting as if they followed Him but sticking to their own ways. The truth was, these “prophets” were not bidding God’s ways at all. They hadn’t let Him be the Lord of their lives in any true sense.

We read Micah 3 today, and we see it plain as day. But what happens when we let God’s Word shine light on our own ways of living? Does He illuminate our own false claims about His name or does He find us true?

May He find us true to His name, the One that reigns above all others.


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