Today, I am reading and commenting on Deuteronomy 5-7.
Once Moses completed his summary of what happened to the children of Israel from the time they left Mt. Sinai until they arrived on the eastern bank of the Jordan River he reviewed the commands which God had given the people of Israel during that time. He listed once again the Ten Commandments. I was struck by a different meaning to one of them than I had ever seen before. That one is “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” When I was growing up, I learned that it meant that I should not use “Jesus” or “God” as exclamations. While it is true that we should not use them in that way, that is not what this command means. This command is telling us that we should not use God’s name and reputation to commit fraud. We should not claim to be acting in God’s name when we are merely striving to advance our own interests. Nor should we claim to be acting in God’s name in order to advance any interests other than God’s.
Moses went on to tell the people of Israel that they must commit themselves wholeheartedly to God’s commands. We are to repeat them again and again, to talk about them wherever we are, whether at home or away. Moses told the people to tie them to their hands and their foreheads, to write God’s commands on their doorposts and their gateways. We should be talking about God’s commands until people are sick of hearing it. However, this is not about telling others what they should be doing. When we talk about God’s commands, we need to talk about what it means for ourselves. All of our hearts, souls, and minds should be dedicated to determining how we can do what God desires. Let us be obsessed with obeying God’s commands.