OMG!!!! Do You Belittle God's Name?
Julie BarrierDr. Julie Barrier, along with her pastor-husband, Dr. Roger Barrier, have taught conferences on marriage and ministry in 35 countries. The Barriers are founders and directors of Preach It, Teach It www.preachitteachit.org, providing free resources in 10 languages to 5 million visitors in 229 countries. The Barriers pastored 35 years at Casas Church in Arizona, Julie has served as a worship minister, concert artist and adjunct professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She has authored or composed of over 500 published works.
- 2015 Jul 01
Oh…My…God: a standard response to everything from rage to surprise. I used to be shocked by those blasphemous words. Reality TV would cease to exist without OMG! I'm a closet HGTV fan. Home improvement episodes conclude with “the big reveal.” EVERY homeowner shouts, “Oh, my God!!” when they see their abode transformed from trashy to spiffy. Come on! Is there nothing else you can say to express your feelings? Yet, I have easily become desensitized by hearing OMG everywhere. To my chagrin, I occasionally find those three little words popping out of my pie hole when I least expect it. Shame on me!
The first three of the Ten Commandments speak of God Himself: how we reverence and regard Him. We don’t worship other gods. We don’t make other gods and worship them. AND we don’t call anything else “God” besides Him. The remaining commandments deal with behaviors that relate to how we demonstrate our reverence for God in our daily lives. So mishandling God’s name, the expression of His character, will change how we view everything in life.
The Jews never spoke God's name. He was YHWH. They referred to the Almighty as "the NAME." Jesus claimed to be YHWH in John 8 (among other passages). John 8:58 states,
8 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” NIV
The Greek present tense of 'ego eimi,' "I AM," can be translated into the English perfect tense "I have been." The religious leaders were infuriated. When Christ made this claim, the incensed Hebrews picked up stones, intending to pound Christ into the ground. The Lord walked right through the mob, unscathed. Now that’s something YHWH would do!
Why is God so particular about how His Name is used? The Bible teaches that when something is “holy,” it is set apart as sacred. When something “ordinary,” it is profane.
Taking God’s name in vain makes God too small. He can't control the universe. He can't answer your prayers. An everyday God can't do extraordinary things. We drag Him through the mud of our mundane lives.
James 3:9-10 teaches us our tongue can be ignited by hell. The wagging appendage can be bipolar-blessing & cursing. With our tongues, we can encourage or trash-talk.
Jesus taught us to pray with these words: “Our Father, who is in heaven, holy is Your Name.” Matthew 6:9.
The next time you use God’s name, try one of these:
YAHWEH-JIREH: "The Lord Will Provide" (Genesis 22:14) – God’s name spoken by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.
YAHWEH-RAPHA: "The Lord Who Heals" (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning your sin.
YAHWEH-NISSI: "The Lord Our Banner" (Exodus 17:15), where banner is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.
YAHWEH-M'KADDESH: "The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy" (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28) – God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, can cleanse His people and make them holy.
YAHWEH-SHALOM: "The Lord Our Peace" (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him.
YAHWEH-ELOHIM: "LORD God" (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5) – a combination of God’s unique name YHWH and the generic “Lord,” signifying that He is the Lord of Lords.
YAHWEH-TSIDKENU: "The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16) – As with YHWH-M’Kaddesh, it is God alone who makes man right with God in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who became sin for us “that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
YAHWEH-ROHI: "The Lord Our Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1) – After David thought about his relationship as a shepherd to his sheep, he realized that was exactly the relationship God had with him, and so he declares, “Yahweh-Rohi is my Shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
YAHWEH-SHAMMAH: "The Lord Is There” (Ezekiel 48:35)
Colossians 3:17 states, "…whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." NIV
Using exclamations like OMG may not seem like a big deal, but we MUST make it our goal to glorify God with every word we say, knowing He knows our heart and desire to honor Him.
Listen to Dr. Roger Barrier’s Sermon: “Confident Prayer: Praying the Names of God.”
For more study of the names of God, read “The Names of God” by Ken Hemphill.