Lent 2013 – day 28

12 Mar

Psalm 139:19-22
If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

If anyone reading this was at Ascension Church, Custom House on March 3rd they would have heard a sermon by Jimmy Dale about Exodus 29:7, which says:
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

During his talk he spoke about how the name of Jesus, according to the dictionary, is primarily a curse word and secondarily the name of Christ. Jesus’ name has been so used as abuse by people, particularly in recent years, that it has lost its true meaning. If we take a look at an online dictionary we can also see that “God” is also considered similarly, though thankfully this use of “God” is at number 10!

Is it any wonder that David cries out for them to be killed? After all, God Himself declares those who do so to be guilty. But what of us? What about when people say it and we don’t seek either to correct their use of the name of The Lord or at least be offended by the misuse.

One word that David uses which I think we should be keen to follow is “abhor”, which means to fill with horror. When were we last filled with horror, and I mean really horrified, at hearing someone misuse God’s name? When were we last truly offended, as opposed to saying it was offensive because we know it is but not feeling the offence? As I look further at this I think that the most important thing in all this is actually being offended, rather than saying that it is offensive. Certainly we can react out of a feeling if offence to try and change the way people use the name of God, but I would suggest that maybe we are as guilty, by association, as those who misuse His name if we don’t actually feel offended. After all, didn’t Jesus say that it was the heart rather than actions that God looked at? Didn’t He say that it is the spirit of the law, rather than the word, that was most important?

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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One Response to “Lent 2013 – day 28”

  1. Helen March 12, 2013 at 09:22 #

    How sweet the name of Jesus sounds to a believer’s ear. It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fear.

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