Do you ever wonder why God spoke and wrote the Ten Commandments? You may be inclined to think He gave them to make Christians boring or make sure we don’t have too much fun. Maybe you think God provided them to see who is in and who is out of the kingdom of God. But neither of these are reasons God gave for issuing the Ten Commandments.
God gave His people the commandments AFTER He provided salvation from the Egyptians (Exodus 19). God lovingly saved His covenant people and deemed them, of all the people of the earth, His treasured possessions. The Lord is making His people into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. The Ten Commandments were given to establish and set apart the people of God’s affection, and when you keep those commandments, it testifies to your intimacy with God.
This Sunday we take a look at the third commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This commandment is about so much more than using the Lord’s name as an expletive or an exclamation. Expressed positively, you might rephrase it, “The Lord’s people will honor His name.” In what ways do those deemed God’s “treasured possessions” desire to honor His name? That’s the question we’ll seek to answer together this week.
This the last Sunday in our journey through the book of Genesis. This last chapter is the exclamation point to the entire book. Genesis has told us so much about God, who we are, and the world in which we live. The underlying message of Genesis is just as life changing for the people of God today as it was for the people of God included in that first book of the Bible.
Mankind’s most pressing needs and most troubling questions are addressed in Genesis, and this week’s passage pulls it all together. Life in this world is not easy. In fact, much of the time it is hard. Despite what the popular t-shirt and bumper sticker claims, life doesn’t always seem “good.” There are lots of times and seasons when life’s good, but if you wait long enough, there will be times and seasons when life seems bad. When life’s good, we’re apt to say, “Life is good, therefore God is good.” But what about those moments when life doesn’t seem all that good? Can you say, “Life is bad, but God is good?” Do you find it hard to believe in God when the walls are caving in and life seems really bad? Well, despite how life might feel at any given moment, God means all circumstances, even the evil intentions of others, for good. How can you know for sure? Because God provided the evidence, which we’ll look at together this Sunday.