Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

5.3 The Second Commandment

You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name. 

5.3.1 Introduction

Misusing God’s name means profaning God. By misusing His name, one makes God less meaningful and worth less. Voicing the name of God, just as the fashioning of images, is an attempt to seize power for oneself (according to Neumann, in agreement with v.Rad S.230**). 

Some vestiges of this may be found in the fairy tale of Rumpelstilzchen. The salesman, who is well schooled in sales-talk, repeatedly uses the customer’s name in a very purposeful way. We would do well to take an example of Jews’ reverence for the name of God. 

5.3.2 Source

Exodus 20

Luther’s Small Catechism


5.3.3 Application/Discussion

This next exercise is a very valuable private exercise:

Set a timeframe for yourself – a day to start with, for instance – and try not to say the word “God.” This exercise can become especially beautiful if, rather than saying “God” or “Jesus” one uses the description from the Song of Solomon (Song 3.1, among others) “the One who my soul loves.” 

This is an exercise that has the potential to be very deep.