(Article for publication week of 3-2-2011 AD)
“He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name” (Psalm 111:9).
The people of God under the Old Testament so revered the Name of God that they would not take the Name “Jehovah” on their lips. They had a such perception of the holiness of God and their own sinfulness that they felt it would border on blasphemy to even take His name on their sinful lips. Some of that may have been superstition, for (as far as I know) there was no command from God to do this. However the attitude of the Israelites of old was far superior to the irreverence of our day.
The generation in which you and I live is a most irreverent lot. Sadly, even many professed Christians do not reverence the name of the Lord. I have had to rebuke church members, and even preachers for their careless use of the name of the Lord. It is hard for me to speak plainly without feeling irreverent myself, but just let me say that when you say “Lord” with any exclamatory word before it , you are using the name of the Lord in vain and committing a terrible sin. Any light or careless use of the names, personhood, titles or attributes of God is a violation of the third commandment and God says He will not hold you guiltless who take his name in vain.
Irreverence for the Persons of the Godhead and the names of the Persons of the Godhead is the fruit of an unregenerate heart. You do not love and adore God , so you do not reverence Him. You do not fear God, so you feel no compunction in using His name in careless ways. You do not know the Thrice Holy God of the Bible, so you feel quite comfortable in letting His Thrice Holy Name roll off your defiled lips in the most flippant ways.
This generation of church-goers and professed religious people have learned of a god that is not holy, and his name is not holy. This generation of professed religious people have a god of their imaginations who is their “co-pilot”, or their little friend , or perhaps something like a nice old grandfather. But my friends, that is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is described in my text. He is a sovereign God Who has commanded the redemption of His elect. He has ordered an everlasting covenant with Himself that is sure and steadfast. Holy and reverend is His name.