Another month has passed by, and there is still no sign of the drought-breaking rain that is so very much needed in many parts of Australia. Does this mean that God hasn’t answered our prayers? Of course not! It seems that the answer has been that we need to wait a little longer.
There has been some very good rain in some places that have suffered the devastating bushfires. However, as I read posts of thanks, I’m constantly embarrassed. Reading the posts, thinking this is wonderful for these people, then you get to the end and there is invariably a final sentence that says: Keep sending it down… Followed by such names as Hughie, and I saw a new one recently, Marg. Oh why do people have to spoil such a good gift with such a sarcastic remark?
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.” Yes, we are used to applying this commandment to those who use the name of Jesus as a swear word. Even young children get this. One young student accused a scripture teacher of saying a bad word, when she told the class that she was there to teach them about God and Jesus. Such was their understanding of our Lord.
However, do we realise that when we call God by another name other than His real title, we are also taking His name in vain?
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
~ Exodus 34:14
There have been times when people have called me by a name other than the name I prefer and I have been quick to correct them, sometimes politely and other times with less grace. We have heard the joke: You can call me anything as long as you don’t call me late for dinner — this is used by many people to reduce the embarrassment of someone for forgetting their name.
How can we forget the name of God? What becomes so obvious, is just how patient and loving our God is. He is so gracious. If it was me, I know that I would be holding back the rain again, or striking people with lightning, but God continues to endow these people with the much-needed rain.
“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed:
The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”
~ Exodus 34:6
Lord, we thank You for Your patience and love. Please forgive us for all the times that Your name has been taken in vain, and may You continue send us the much-needed rain. Lord, we know that one day Your name will be glorified, because when You act, there will be no doubt that You have worked amongst Your people.