February 19, 2022

Name Above All Names

Psalm 20:1-9

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

—  Exodus 20:7

God created the universe and claims us as his own. God is the holy and perfect One whose name is above all names. No other name should be so highly honored.

God is also the one who loves us perfectly. God cares for us and provides for us each day. God is faithful and always keeps his promises.

Why, then, would we disrespect God by misusing his name?

I had a Jewish student who would write only “G_d” on her papers so that she would not use the full name for God. That kind of respect for the name of God may be extreme, but in our culture today people have often swerved to the other extreme. For example, the letters OMG have become a social meme. This is used like an exclamation point in conversations that are trite, even narcissistic. Using God’s name in such contexts is disgraceful to the one whose name is above all names.

One day when someone said, “Oh, my God!” I asked them, “What if God comes and calls you to account for that? You’ll be in a world of trouble then.”

Let’s give honor to the Lord our God in all we think, say, and do.

Forgive us, Lord, if we have misused your name. Help us to call each other to account when we do. Help us to honor your name so that others can see that we love and ­honor you. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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