GOD’S WISDOM FOR HIS PEOPLE, Week 2, Commandments 3 & 4


The 10 Commandments, Exodus 20

A Holy Name and a Holy Day

(Commandments 3 & 4, finishing off Tablet #1)

Part I. What’s in a Name? (Exodus 20:7)

“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.”

INTRO: How important are names?  What kind of images are created when we hear names like: Washington, Billy Graham, OJ, Lincoln, Robin Williams, Kennedy, Lebron, Benedict Arnold, Ted Bundy, Seinfeld, Trump, or names like Iran, America, Russia, or Prada, Apple, etc.

Obviously, there is great power in names; they reflect a myriad of images and ideas in our minds.  They identify certain traits or characteristics when they are names of people groups or nations, they connect us to the past through our histories.

 “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to him and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10

What does that name mean to you?

“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 5:11

“Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be stoned to death.” Leviticus 24:16

“David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” 2 Samuel 6:18

“Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord.” 1 Kings 18:24

Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21

“I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalm 7:17

“Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” Psalm 118:26

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”   Joel 2:32

“Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Matthew 21:9

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”   Acts 2:2

“So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.” Acts 9:28

“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14

The Name of the Lord is Powerful!! 

The 3rd commandment says, “You must not misuse the name of the Lord” it’s not speaking to unbelievers, God is speaking to His followers. 

“The Bible teaches us that we reflect the name of God to this world like ambassadors and that failure to represent Him faithfully in the way that we live or speak means misusing His name.” Rev. Marquardt

Part I : What’s in a Name? (Exodus 20:7)

  1. Responsibilities of His Name
  1. Accept God’s Name: come before Him in awe and humility

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”             2 Chronicles 7:14

  1. Bear God’s Name: be witnesses that our God is God.
  1. To “bear” His name is to also accept the responsibilities to represent His name to the world.
  2. We who bear the name of God are His Children and His Followers.

“What other people think of me is becoming less and less important; what they think of Jesus because of me is critical.”- Cliff Richards (1941)

  1. Unashamed of God’s Name: willingly represent Him to the world.

“I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.” Psalm 138:2

  • We uphold His name, we are a people called by His name.

ILLUS: The daughter of our pastor was asked to give the closing prayer at her high school graduation. A Jewish student was asked to give the opening prayer. The principal asked the pastor’s daughter if she would refrain from using the name of Christ in her prayer, “lest someone of other faiths be offended.” She replied she would be glad to omit Christ’s name from her closing prayer if the Jewish student would mention Christ’s name in his opening prayer, “so that I and those of my faith not be offended.” She was allowed to give her prayer as originally planned. — Carolyn Copeland, Christian Reader.  “Jesus’ name is a big deal!!”

  1. Exalt  His Name: lift up His name with your life and with your love
  1. Far too many people “misuse his name”
  • It is not as much the sinner that God takes to task for cursing His name as much as it is when His people called by His name misuse it, then we are the ones to use profanity… Remember that these 10 commandments were not given to unbelievers, they were given to God’s people.
  1. Do we “exalt” His name in our lives?  Do we exalt Him in our words?

ILLUS: At the end of World War I, Herbert Hoover, later to become President of the United States, led the allied relief efforts in Europe. He kept hundreds of thousands from starving, and a new word entered the Finnish language. In Finland, to “hoover” means “to be kind, to help.”  If someone coined a word from your name, what would it be?    Robert C. Shannon

  1. Live His Name: live out the name you have been given.
  1. We are now called by a new name in Christ!  When the adoption takes place, we take His Name!!

ILLUS: A newspaper ad read:  “Lost–one dog.  Brown hair with several bald spots.  Right leg broken due to auto accident.  Left hip hurt.  Right eye missing.  Left ear bitten off in a dog fight.  Answers to the name “Lucky.” – James S. Hewett

  • While our lives are scarred with sin, and experiences at times have left us broken, we are now in Christ called by His great Name!
  1. Just like a child that is adopted, it isn’t that we deserved it, but God so loved us that He called us unto Himself, and when we respond with faith to receive Him, we also receive His name!

CONCLUSION: Let’s represent God’s name properly,  Let’s live His name.   Let’s live our the 3rd commandment?


Part II: What’s in a Day?

I.  The Worshipper and the Worker,  Ex. 20:8-11

“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” Exodus 20:8-11

As the final commandment on tablet #1, it deals with our relationship with God.  Next 6 commandments deal with our Relationships with others.  However, I must add, if you live your commandments with God, your relationships with others will improve!!

This commandment has two parts to it:

  1. Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it Holy
  2. Six days each week for your Ordinary Work
  1. A. Relationship, 20:8, “observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  1. The Sabbath was God’s final day of creation, but it is our first day of existence … so we begin our journey with worship!
  1. Worship makes a person fit to be a worker.
  2. Without worship our work has no lasting value, it is only temporal. 
  1. 2. Worship is how we express our love, admiration, and wonder at God’s presence.  When we Raise our Voices to God, we are Lifting up Ourselves to Him and celebrating the Sabbath day.

“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Apostle Paul (Rom 12:1)

B. Rest , 20:10-11, “the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest.”

Remember when they were slaves in Egypt they worked everyday!

  1. Worship enables us to “rest” before God. Our spiritual rest can have profound impact on our physical being!
  1. To “Remember” the Sabbath day and to keep it holy may mean repeating many of the same spiritual dynamics over and over…

Karate Kid

Jesus clarified things…“The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

  1. Too often we fail to understand the significance of worship… so many see it as unimportant since we do so many of the same things over and over in the same way when we worship.
  1. We fail to understand however how important many of these “spiritual” dynamics are in the way they affect our lives.
  2. To “remember” the Sabbath day and to keep it holy may mean  repeating many of the same spiritual dynamics over and over…

Karate Kid

After Daniel successfully defends himself from several more blows, Miagi simply walks away, leaving Daniel to discover what the master had known all along: skill comes from repeating the correct but seemingly mundane actions.  The same is true of godliness.

? These are not empty rituals we go through when we sing hymns of worship and praise to God, nor is it just an “offering” of money that we collect, nor an exercise in patience to sit through a sermon… these acts of worship frame our lives and understanding of God.

? The Sabbath is thus a “rest” in God, a time for our soul to refresh itself as much as it is to prepare us for work in the world.

Jesus clarified things…

“The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

C. Responsibilities: 20:9, “six days each week for your work.”

  • God’s full intention for us cannot be experienced without Work. 

? We have been created to enjoy, serve, work, help others, etc.

  1. Worship and Work are part of what God has made us to be.
  • O.T. welfare system: The Poor were valuable and the Rich were responsible.  They left fields for the poor to plow and work to eat.
  • N.T. welfare system: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat. We command such people…settle down & work.”- Paul (2Th 3:10f)
  1. Too many people assume that work alone will fulfill them.  They work and work, week after week and never find purpose.

Seeking life devoid of God leads to emptiness.

Conclusion: God is seeking to raise up a people unto Himself, He calls them to Revere a Holy Name and Model a Holy Day.  Why is He doing this?  God is doing this because He wants us to have an abundant, healthy and God-honoring life.

  • Skipping too much Work has penalties, skipping too much Sabbath creates distance. 
  1. It is important to be faithful to worship.
  2. It is important to be faithful to work.

More CONCLUSION:  While the Sabbath was the last day of creation for God, it was our first day of existence with God.  We begin our series with worship and then enter the week with work.  God came first! 

A Holy Name and a Holy Day

I think if we work on both of these we will have much more of the abundant life in Christ.  The 10 commandments represent God’s design to make the human experience the best it can possibly be. Followed correctly, these commandments become the healthy foundation for life in Christ.