We have all seen the bumper stickers and car tags that proudly proclaim “GOD is my Co-pilot” as well as the calendars in some business establishments that declare that GOD is their “silent partner”. Those who display such things generally feel that they are proclaiming their service to the LORD and are doing HIM a favor by mentioning their devotion and giving HIM a place of honor, (as dubious as it is) by including a mention of HIM.
I heard a commercial on the radio the other day and the proprietor of a local business said that he had three loves in his life, “GOD, his family, and customizing cars”. Since he put them in that order, I am sure that he felt that the LORD would be pleased to hear that HE was included in this advertising, and who knows it might even cause some folks to want to do business with him if he had a place in his busy life for GOD.
I don’t know a lot of things but I am quite sure that the scripture never indicates that the MAKER of Heaven and Earth, the SOVEREIGN RULER of all Universes, the Absolute PREDESTINATOR of all events, would, somehow, be honored to share any such billing, regardless of the sincerity of those who might set it forth.
When the LORD first appeared to Moses in the “BURNING BUSH”, HE told Moses to remove his shoes because he was standing on “holy ground”. The ground was not holy because it held some religious significance but rather that to be in the presence of a HOLY (i.e. separate and singular) GOD rendered it so. In essence HE declared that Moses had no right or business to come into that place except that he was given that privilege due to nothing but the sovereign will and purpose of HIM who is a “CONSUMING FIRE.”
HE ultimately went on to declare to Moses that portion of HIS law which we refer to as the “Ten Commandments.” The very first one of these “commandments” is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exo 20:3) This is the beginning of a declaration of who HE is. Some have evidently assumed that HE was saying, you can have other gods, but just always put me first. In reality HE was saying, you cannot have any others before my face or in my presence. HE went on to define that very fact by saying, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,” (Exo 20:5) HE then, later, repeated this description of HIMSELF, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exo 34:14)
The third “commandment” is “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exo 20:7) When I was growing up, I had the concept that taking the LORD’s name in vain consisted of speaking of HIM with the word “damn” attached to it. Many around me had adopted this habit and soon I learned that doing the same was strangely satisfying when events were not to my liking. This was indeed taking HIS NAME in vain, but as I later discovered was not the only way this commandment is disregarded.
To take the NAME of the LORD in vain is to speak of HIM in any frivolous manner or using HIS name in some fashion to seek glory for oneself, even as those who would include the mention of HIM in some manner to draw attention to themselves. HIS very NAME is JEALOUS and HE will not be spoken of in a light hearted or off handed fashion which is without proper regard to the glory that surrounds HIM. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.” (Isa 42:8) We are saddened to hear many who call themselves HIS followers using HIS name as an exclamation point or even as a means for monetary gain.
The GOD who “inhabitest eternity” does not enter into partnerships with any, nor does HE occupy some secondary role or position. HE is the LORD of all and demands respect in the Heavens. “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3); in the Earth, “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Psa 50:12); and even in the regions of Hell, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (Jas 2:19)
Well did Paul say, “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who “only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1Tim 6:15-16) HE cannot be co-opted for our purpose nor can HE in any wise be found to be dependent on anything which the creature can produce, whether it be supposed works of righteousness or activities of free will. The only proper place for a man who recognizes HIS LORDSHIP is in the dust of adoring wonder and repentance.
The Psalmist declares HIS work. “HE hath sent REDEMPTION unto HIS people.” What a glorious testimony concerning the salvation of those whom HE has loved with an everlasting love. (i.e.; HIS people). Everything which HE has revealed to men concerning HIS purpose in the earth is centered in the redemption of HIS elect Bride. For this purpose HE created the world and man to inhabit it, that HE might manifest the glory of HIS grace in purchasing HIS people back from the slavery of sin which they had gladly sold themselves into and remained content therein. Yet GOD who is rich in mercy did demonstrate HIS power to deliver those who sat in darkness, as HE came in the flesh as a mighty CHAMPION to defeat their enemies and destroy the power that had them bound. Thus HE satisfied the claims of the law which they had disregarded and transgressed by giving HIMSELF as an OFFERING for their sin, paying their debts and imputing to them HIS perfect righteousness, that they might be justified in HIM.
The Psalmist declares HIS oath. “HE hath commanded HIS COVENANT forever.” The everlasting covenant which GOD has made was with HIS SON. (see Gal.3:16; Ps.2:6-9) It is a unilateral covenant and does not in any wise depend on men to do anything. (see Heb.6:16-20) It is ordered in all things (II Sam. 23:5) and all conditions are met by HIM who brought salvation by HIS own arm. (see Isa.63:5).
The Psalmist declares HIS NAME. “HOLY and REVEREND is HIS NAME.” This can only have reference to HIM who is worthy of all praise. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 4:12) It is blasphemous to use that NAME to refer to anyone else. HIS NAME must not be taken in vain. I am not sure when the practice of calling men by that name began or the circumstances which surrounded this egregious display of man’s pride. It is baffling to me that any man who has any regard whatsoever to the HOLY NAME of GOD would allow such a label to be affixed to himself or for any who worship at the footstool of the dread SOVEREIGN of the universe should refer to any sinful son of Adam by such a title.
The whole concept of men taking “titles” to themselves, in order to differentiate their various gifts and callings from one another is borne out of a penchant to be as Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence. It matters not whether it be reverend, elder, pastor, bishop or whatever title one may choose. The sons of GOD are servants one of another, each esteeming the other better than themselves. Thus it is not proper to take titles based upon various gifts and callings which the LORD is pleased to bestow upon the saints for the benefit of the whole body. There is no special class of men in the house of GOD.mam