Here we see the river Darwen carving its way through the valley of Hoghton Bottoms in the county of Lancashire. It is clear that this has at some point used a tremendous force to force its way through rock. Anything that finds its way into the waters is quickly taken down river on a journey that will lead many miles.
I have been thinking of the command,
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Now I am very seldom prone to swearing and I do not use phrases such as OMG, but recently my eyes were opened about the translation of this passage and its meaning. After listening to Dennis Prager, I discovered that the word “take” should actually be translated as carry and that it is sinful acts that if done in the name of God will not be forgiven because that will bring God’s name in connection with evil done.
» Take (Strong’s #5375)
The Hebrew verb behind this English word is nasa and is a very generic verb used in a wide variety ways in the text. This word has been translated as lift, carry, accept, exalt, regard, obtain, respect and many other ways. In the context of this verse it is the “name” that is being “lifted up.” One lifts up a name by making it known to others.
I don’t usualy like the good news translation, but it seems clear when it says;
Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the LORD your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name.
That reminded me of the other command that Jesus talks about that will not be forgiven and that is;
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
Is there a reason why these two commandments are similar in that you will not be forgiven. I believe that it is clear if you think about the word “take” actually meaning – to carry or lift up. With the Holy Spirit we carry the Holy Spirit within and we are the lights of God’s Holy church, so if we do evil acts it is then intensly more serious for us than for a non believer to do sinful acts because we are lifting Gods name up in the process.
The river carries many things down its waters; seeds, branches, rubbish as it carves it way through the valley. What are we going to carry through our lives and what sort of path will we leave behind us. Will people think on us as a good and humble servant of Jesus or will they just think that the person was in this life just for themselves?
I like the image of Peter walking through the streets spilling the Holy Spirit out and healing people as he walked by.
As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were healed.
Our walk in life will spill the Holy Spirit only if we daily ask for this filling and to be put to use to build God’s kingdom. I encourage you today to ask the Lord for His never ending river so that you too can spill the river out into the world and share the love of Jesus into people’s lives.