Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"OMG" = Profanity in God's Ears

Gonna step on some toes today. But sometimes we need a little toe-crunching to help us see things we've ignored or let slip or simply didn't know. Today I'm taking on the vastly popular phrase: "Oh my God!" You hear it on TV, on the radio, in movies. You hear it from friends and co-workers or even in your own home. You see it written in texts, Tweets and Facebook messages, usually shortened to "OMG." It's catchy, to be sure. It's easy to utter when you're surprised or scared or happy or whatever.

But I'm here to tell you: OMG = Profanity in God's ears.

From the very beginning, God was to be revered by man. And not just God himself, but his very name! In Genesis 4:26 we see that "men began to call on the name of the Lord." God himself told us not to misuse his name in Exodus 3:15 and Deuteronomy 5:11 when he gave us the Ten Commandments:

"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD your God will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." (NIV)

I like the way the Message Bible puts it:

"No using the name of GOD, your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won't put up with the irreverent use of his name."

King David declared "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth." Psalm 8:1

The Prophet Joel wrote, "And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." (2:32)

Jesus himself told us to pray, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..." (Matthew 6:9) Merriam Webster defines "hallowed" as "holy, reverent, sacred." Jesus is telling us that God's name is holy.

This week I've been reading in the book of Ezekiel. In chapter 20 God is speaking to Ezekiel the Prophet about Jerusalem's disobedience. Three different times God says this about his name:

"But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations..." (v's 9, 14, 22) 

God's name is important to him! (Also see Ezekiel 36:21-23)

He doesn't want it misused. He doesn't want it to be the word-of-choice when we feel the need to utter an exclamation of some sort. He sure doesn't want it used as a curse word. In fact, Revelation 11:18 tells us God will reward "those who reverence your name."

While I'm on my soapbox I'll go ahead and add that the name of Jesus Christ is the same as God's name. Saying "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" in a way that is irreverent is breaking the third commandment just as surely as if you had used the name of God. God is Jesus. Jesus is God. Keep his name holy!

It makes me sad when I hear God's name used in vain. And if it makes me sad, I can only imagine how God feels. =(

This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Germany, France, China, Vietnam, Latvia, Ireland, Kenya, Russia


Wanda Couzens-Smith said...

Oh yes. I cringe every time I hear OMG or see it on Facebook. Way back in around 1988 or 1989 the Nazarene Magazine, Holiness Today, printed an article about God's name..........much like a rose by any other name. It was a really good article. Wish I had saved it. PG....Praise God for His blessings..........

Michelle Shocklee said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Wanda! Yes, it's so much to better to praise God!!