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11th Commandment (6 of 6)

Shane Willard

Page 2 of 10
William the Conqueror and the Normans attacked the Saxons back in the 1300s. William the Conqueror won the war, and the Norman word for ‘sexuality’ was ‘fornication’; but the Saxon word was another word that starts with an 'f'. The Norman word for something like ‘going to the bathroom’ was: poop, or crap; but the Saxon word was something entirely different. When the Normans beat the Saxons, their words became clean, and the Saxon words became swear words. That's all that happened.

You realise if the Saxons won the war, for me to say ‘fornicate’ from the stage, people would go: WHAT! As it is now, it's not the case; so it's never a language issue.

That's why Jesus was shocking people, when He'd say: if you say to your brother ‘Raka’, do you realise that He was swearing? He was, in their culture, using a dirty word - and people were going: Huh! His whole point was: you guys are making it all about language. I'm not concerned with what comes out of your mouth; I'm concerned with what's going into your heart that defiles a person.

It's not a language issue. It's not like saying: “oh my God” - although those things are probably distasteful, and we probably shouldn't do them - even that is irrelevant. Taking God's name in vain has nothing to do with language - it is far bigger than that.

Three main words in this command; the first word is Nasah, translated either "to carry", or "to take". The context is not "to say it"; even the meaning of the word doesn't mean "to say it"; it means "to pick it up"; “to carry something”, or to “take it”.

Don't pick up the name of God in vain, that's Nasah – to: don't carry around. The picture is that, when you call the name of Christ - when you wear a 'What Would Jesus Do?' bracelet; or a cross around your neck; or put a fish on your car; or wear some sort of Christian t-shirt.

When you identify yourself as a Christian, it's bigger than just going to heaven one day. You're actually picking up, and carrying, the name of God around with you. He says: don't take the name in vain.

The next word is ‘Shim’, which just means ‘name’. So it says: don't pick up and carry the name of God in vain.

Finally, the word ‘in vain’, is the word ‘Shawv’. So you have Nasah, which means "to carry"; you have shawv, which is translated "in vain"; and you've got Shim, which is “name”.

The translator's primary job is to make the verse readable. There is no way that they could translate the actual literal meanings of the words in order, because it would make it unreadable. Let me give you the full Hebrew dictionary definition of the word shawv.

It's translated "in vain" - that makes it readable; but this is the full dictionary definition: Anything that disappoints the hope that rests upon in.

He's saying: if you want to have the best life, the culture that everybody wants in on, here's what I want you to remember:

Do not carry My name in such a way, that disappoints the hope that rests upon it.

Carry my name in a way that manifests the hope that rests upon it.

When you identify yourself with Christ, there's two ways you can live: in a way that manifests the hope that rests upon it; or in a way that disappoints the hope that rests upon it.

Let me present this a few different ways:

1) Do not use my name for things that I would not use it for. Don't put My name on things that I wouldn't put it on. Don't sign cheques I wouldn't sign.

2) Be a co-operator with God, not a manipulator of Him.