Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 36
We have now reached the third commandment. ln simple words the commandment says that you may only use the name of your Father in heaven if you think of Him with respect.lt is a terrible sin to use God’s name to make yourself look cool, or as an exclamation. It is sad, but many boys and girls, and older people too, like to use God’s name wh en they are talking. Then God’s name is used as an exclamation. Even worse, some people use the Lord’s they are mad, to be forceful. Don’t say this aloud, but they use God’s name followed by the word “damn.” They are saying, “May God damn me.” That means, “lf what I am saying is not true, may God send me to hell.” Saying God’s name in these ways is called abusing God’s name. It is a great sin, and it makes God very angry. People blaspheme on the radio and the television. Sometimes they even mock God. I am sure your parents turn the program off when that happens; that is what the Lord wants. For Him, the worst thing anyone can do is to defame his name, speaking about God with contempt. Did you know that an Israelite who blasphemed God had to be executed? He had said that God was powerless, and could not really help them. This man was not allowed to live with God’s people. Are you shocked? Are you thinking that you are glad such a punishment no longer happens? Well, be careful. Today if someone blasphemes God, and is not sorry but does it again, will receive a greater punishment. After he has died, he is not allowed to be with the Lord. The punishment from biblical times helps us today to hate cursing God. Don’t abuse the name of God. Don’t make your heavenly Father sad If you do abuse his name, ask God humbly for forgiveness. And you will receive forgiveness! God is merciful. What to do when you hear someone blaspheme? Do you say nothing, or walk away? You must be brave, and dare to say something. If you do nothing, your silence is as bad as their cursing. God’s name is sometimes used to get your own way. Someone may say, “No, I didn’t do it, I swear.” Even though they leave out God’s name, God does not want that either. We are also not allowed to lie. When you say yes it should be yes. And no should mean no. And let us always speak with respect about the Lord.