Parashat Vaethannan

Lamed Messianic Studies

(Original Entry from HOD-Wordpress - 2007-07-28 11:21:56 pm)

Category - Lamed Messianic Studies, Jewish

Parashat Va-ethannan

Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
Haftarah Portion: Isaiah 40:1-40:26

While reading this Torah Portion, I started reviewing the events of the giving of the Ten Commandments, (or the Nine Utterances for our Jewish Believers in Messiah), which are reviewed in Chapter 5. For whatever reason, this time the command concerning the taking of G-D’s Name in vain really stood out to me.

We naturally associate this command with cursing and perverse tongues. But, I believe there is much more to this topic header than we realize. Look carefully at the manner in which it is stated. It states in Deuteronomy 5:11 that the man taking the Name of the L-RD in vain will not be deemed as without guilt.

OK, for starters, we know that words create. When the Earth and Heavens were created, G-D spoke and things became existent. We must verbally confess our sins to gain forgiveness for them. Words are also the fruit of our beliefs and lives. It is taught that a man’s mind can be known by the words he speaks. For our purposes here, the ability to use words also render the power for us to name things which creates identities, or recognizable patterns which have recognizable traits or characters.

Let me pose this example. A son wants to go play. He tells his mother that father said it was OK, thus invoking the father’s authority as approval in his son’s actions, request, and intent. Mother says it is OK based on that authority. Later, father and mother confer and discover that father’s authority has been misused for selfish reasons.

Is that son still loved by his father? Yes. Is the son still a son of the father? Yes. Is the son still rebuked for lying, coveting playtime, and taking the father’s name and authority “in vain?” Yes.

How many times do Believers in Yeshuah state that G-D “told” them to do something? And how many of those turn out to be false? How many times do we perform a task as though we are on a mission for G-D when we really just want a pat on the back? How many times do we try to use the authority of HaShem for our own personal gain in prayer?

“Take” in this command is from the Hebrew nassah - naw-saw’ - [Strong’s H5375], and is a primary root word which means to lift, or moreover to bear, carry, take, borne, armorbearer, forgive, accept, exalt, arise, bring forth, hold up, take/carry away. So, we can see here that the idea of “use the name” is not the same as what meaning we derive out of the actual word “take.”

To take the Name in vain could be as simple as the teaching in Matthew 7:6 and not giving what is holy and sanctified to unholy people. It could be to take it for granted as in Psalms 127:1-2. It could be to discount it altogether as in witchcraft, and lifting up one’s own “power” as though it were in G-D’s Name. It could also be taking the glory accolades for something G-D’s Hand and Authority was in and behind and in the midst of all along the way.

The Name of G-D is taken (or lifted) in vain every day in congregations and churches everywhere when His power is denied by unchanged lives. Who in their right mind would want to follow a G-D Who it did not seem could change a life? When we say one thing and do another, or we do not live our life as a Christian character would dictate, we hold up His Name in vain as the G-D Who is supposed to live within us. Yea, I know - that’s a big one.

So, how are you living your life today? Have you confessed the sins of your life to receive forgiveness? Or, are you taking the Name of The L-RD our G-D in vain by denying His power in your life so that you may serve as a good witness to others of His glory and mercy?

Today, make it a point to keep from taking or bringing forth the Name of The L-RD our G-D in vain (or shav - uselessness, [Strong’s H7723]).

Do not go about doing tasks and saying that the L-RD told you to do it when you know He did not. This is attempting to use His Name for your glory. Do not do tasks that the L-RD is clearly not in. This is useless (vain) busywork that will take you away from what He would have you do.

When we live by the Word of G-D and exemplify His power in us by our changed lives, we live the life that HaShem would have us live without vanity. Remember Ephesians 5-6, specifically Ephesians 6:13, as a changed life exemplified. In the end, we want to be free of vanity, which is uselessness, so that we may be able to stand.