Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-12 - So Help Me God
God's name must only be attached to that which is absolutely true.
Read / Listen
Read Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-12
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
11 “ ‘Do not steal.
“ ‘Do not lie.
“ ‘Do not deceive one another.
12 “ ‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 99
Q. What is God’s will for us
in the third commandment?
A. That we neither blaspheme
nor misuse the name of God
or unnecessary oaths,
nor share in such horrible sins
by being silent bystanders.
In a word, it requires
that we use the holy name of God
only with reverence and awe,
so that we may properly
pray to him,
and praise him
Leviticus 19 forms the basis for much of the New Testament book of James. James, the younger, half-brother to Jesus, would preach to new Christian converts by taking a portion of God's Word they knew well and unpacking it in the light of Christ. We'll see an example of this in tomorrow's reading.
This section of the law, given to Israel through Moses, directs the Israelites to not thwart justice. The people are directed to not lie, steal, or profane the name of God by swearing falsely by it… something we call perjury.
This command draws upon the third commandment, to not misuse the name of God. To commit perjury using the name of God is to bring the name of the Lord into your lie, and it is about as clear of an example of the misuse of the name of God as there is.
Sin often starts small but quickly grows big. The transition from lying to perjury in verses 11 and 12 demonstrates how one sin can lead into more and greater sin. Notice the how each of these actions God prohibits quickly leads to the next if unchecked: steal → lie → deceive → blasphemy.
Lying, under the right circumstances, can be something more than deceitful words but an act of blaspheming the very name of God.
In a courtroom, when you are sworn in under oath, it is tradition to place your right hand on the Bible. The symbolism on display in this action is that you are swearing by God that you will be honest in your testimony. To make such an oath, and then speak dishonestly, is perjury.
Swearing falsely by the name of God is a means of profaning the name of God. In being sworn in under oath, you are calling upon the name of God to witness to the truthfulness of your testimony. But when you willingly lie under oath, you are instead calling upon God to bear witness to your lie. And while God will not bear witness to your falsehood, so calling upon our Heavenly Father to bear false witness is a blasphemous way to use the name of the Lord.
We should all be careful not to misuse the name of the Lord through perjury. Also, do your best to avoid using lies and deceit in your dealings with others so that these sins will not lead into a larger web of sin, which might quickly end up including blasphemous perjury.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is holy, so we must be holy;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for His law and pray for the strength to keep it as a new creation in Christ;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 2 Corinthians 10