Practical Proverbial, the Ten Commandments, 12 June 2014

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Exodus chapter 20, verse 10.

Quit the grumbling already.  

This may be a stretch but I have come to believe that our grumbling is a form of misusing the name of the Lord our God. Take the Israelites.   God heard their pleas and delivered them from slavery.   He kept them safe when the Egyptians attacked them.   He gave them water.   He gave them food. He gave them His holy code for living.   And it wasn’t enough.   They grumbled and groused and fretted and complained that He hadn’t done enough for them. The ancient Israelites were Kardashians before it was fashionable to keep up with them.

In my way of thinking, all that grumbling and complaining is a misuse of God’s name.   His name is His identifying promise that He will be with us always.   God’s name says who He is. The master, Lord, all-present IAM who is with us at all times in every way, who is divine love.   To complain against Him is like misusing His love, like misusing the fact of who He is. It’s a way of saying “I don’t believe You’re who You say You are.”

I think this is true because, like the Israelites, God provides for us in every way.   Like an Israelite, I have my selfish moments when I don’t think it’s enough, when I want more.   Chalk that up to the same old, same old sin…just like an Israelite.   I’m not satisfied with Him blessing me unconditionally.   No, I want what I want.   I want my Oompa Loompa and I want it NOW.

Quit grumbling already, Dave.   El Shaddai – God Almighty – is here and now and keeping my heart beating, keeping my mind working, providing His love in every minute in more ways than I can count.   If it isn’t enough for me, the problem isn’t God:   it’s my expectations.

The better way is to seek God’s blessings more actively.   To be thankful for the good and the bad, and to get closer to God’s heart when my own feels troubled.   When I do that, it’s easy to be in humble awe – yet intimate communion – with the God of my Fathers who is, at once, Father, Son, and Spirit. God’s name describes His entire character:   His majesty, glory, supreme nature, magnificence but also His provision, love, grace, mercy, justice, knowledge, and understanding.   When I stop my grumbling – my misuse and mistrust of His name – and start focusing on Who God is through who He describes Himself to be – my Savior – then it isn’t a stretch to see that grumbling is wrong.   That it is a privilege to let go of the complaining and embrace the amazing.

Just like the Israelites could have.

Lord, bless Your wonderful name, the ways in which You make Yourself known to us.

 

Read Exodus chapter 16, God feeds the hungry, complaining Israelites.

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