Another Bible Inspire entry.
My Bible reading today took me through Deuteronomy 5-7. For future reference to my Bible scholar readers, chapters 5-29 are charges given by Moses to the congregation of the Nation, Israel, and to the person who would lead them into Canaan, Joshua. I find it a very encouraging book.
Chapter 5 is a reminder of the Ten Commandments. As I read I also lightly marked the commandments by number. By the time I ended reading them, to my dismay, I had only nine numbers. Since I know there are ten commandments given to Moses, I stopped, went back, and located the missing commandment. Before I tell you which one I identified as “missing” let me say this: the Bible is not a book of antiquity. Please do not put the Bible into the same category as Beowulf, Gilgamesh, or Metamorphoses. Please do not even put it into the respectable book of Josephus. Like no other book, the Bible is God’s inspired Word. Too many clergy in our Country do not exhort from the Old Testament. I think I know why, but that is a subject for another time. The Old Testament is the very place we should look for instruction on how to be a successful God-fearing nation.
Now, the commandment I missed was “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.” It is the third commandment. This is serious and I had neglected it! Not really. I am very cautious about the use of even slang that pertains to a substitution for God’s name. Regretfully, not all my Bible believing friends recognize the seriousness of this commandment. They don’t want to be “prudish” they think. Well, think again!
That precious, powerful name should always hold a place of sacred honor in speech, writing, and general conversation. To those of you who text, be very careful about this. It is not a light thing to misuse the name of God. No one will be held guiltless.
I do not think that I will overlook this third commandment any time soon.
By the way, can you list all Ten Commandments now, without looking in Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5? Give it a try.