“I will send it [the flying scroll of the Law] out, declares the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter the house of him who swears falsely by my name. And it shall remain in his house and consume it, both timber and stones.” -Zechariah 5: 4, ESV
How dangerous it is to use the Lord’s name in vain practice. Our very lips will condemn us. This is a message that the liberal churches need to hear and be warned about. The things that they are doing in the name of worship and in the name of “Christian scholarship” are shameful and in clear opposition to the third commandment (which is one of the two that are highlighted in this passage).
The other commandment that is illustrated in this passage as being broken is the eighth commandment: “Thou shalt not steal.” Many of the Jewish Targums make a connection between these two commandments. Remembering that names have power, the abuse of God’s name is a misappropriation of that power. And what is misappropriation but theft? Theft is taking something that does not belong to you for your own gain. Oh how the liberal churches of today have used the name of God and Christ to give themselves a certain legitimacy that does not belong to them.
In the end, the law will convict them. The Law of the Lord leads either to repentance or to destruction. Those called by God will recognize their sin and they will repent. Yet, where there is no repentance, there is no grace. They who do not have the Spirit moving in them will be destroyed in vain attempts to keep the law. They and their house will fall under its weight.
This ought to be both a warning and a pointer to us. It is a warning, lest we not repent, that we will be judged by a holy law that we cannot stand before. And it is a pointer toward someone greater than ourselves who satisfied that holy law. Let us turn to Christ, for in him and in him alone is salvation.