Monday, October 14, 2013

Parents Require Respect

Symbol: Parents require respect

Lesson: Exodus 20:7 does not say to avoid using God’s name.

Illustration: Those that argue that the name of God (Jehovah) is too sacred and should not be pronounced (especially those that cite the 3rd commandment given to Moses cited at Exodus 20:7), might reflect on the following: If a parent told a child, "Don't you talk to me in that tone of voice!" is that parent saying they don't want their child to talk to them at all? Certainly not.

What if subsequently the child reasoned in his own mind, "Fine! I won't speak to you at all," would that not be just as disrespectful as speaking in a disrespectful tone of voice? The answer is obvious--it is the child's disrespect the parent was trying to correct. For the child to retaliate with a different type of disrespect is STILL wrong.

The same is true with us. There is much evidence in scripture that God wants us to talk to him. He wants us to call him by name--otherwise he would never had revealed it. He wants us to praise him to others (don't we all naturally speak highly of those we care for?). Therefore those that refuse to use the name at all are really being just as disrespectful as those that use God's name "in vain" or a “worthless way.”

Notes: "Profaning God’s Name—By Not Using It" (Watchtower 1986 Issue:5/1 page:25)

JEHOVAH dealt mercifully with the people of Israel for the sake of his own name, that it might not be profaned among the nations. (Ezekiel 20:9, 13, 14, 22) In time, however, the Israelites refrained from using God’s name, so that eventually its pronunciation was lost. This disuse of God’s name was tantamount to profaning it.

Regarding this, R. Laird Harris remarked: “It is a most curious fact that the ancient pronunciation of the name of the God of Israel has been totally lost. Israel’s faith was the only worthy faith in antiquity. It was the world’s first monotheism and is the only ancient faith to have become truly a world religion. It was unique in being wholly spiritual and without a material representation of the deity. It was also unique, unfortunately, in its loss of the pronunciation of the deity’s name. The situation is strange indeed and would hardly have been forecast by those sincere men who felt that they dared not pronounce the ineffable name lest they should profane it. The result seems really to have been a profanation of a different kind. Not to use the name of God seems to profane it just as the coarse use of the Name would have done. But the facts are plain. The ancient Hebrews, naturally, pronounced and wrote the name of God.”—The Law and the Prophets, edited by John H. Skilton, Nutley, New Jersey, 1974, page 215.

The Israelites knew that should they forget Jehovah’s name, God himself would “search this out.” (Psalm 44:20, 21) Subsequently, when this happened, he “turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.” (Acts 15:14) While we today do not know precisely how to pronounce the divine name in Hebrew, a suitable and an adequate rendering of the Tetragrammaton (the four Hebrew consonants representing the name) into English is Jehovah. Today, more than three million people are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they are happy to bear the name of their God and to be identified with it.

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