Q #52: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A: The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God's sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.
Psalm 96:9-10 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns!" Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the people with equity.
Q #53: Which is the third commandment?
A: The third commandment is, you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
Yes I'm behind again with the blog, so with this blog post I'll wrap up the second commandment and introduce the third just to help catch us up with the catechism memorization plan. Remember, these first four commandments all fall under the category of how we are to worship and glorify God. So all of these commandments are inter-related and serve a purpose in helping us realize what it means to truly worship God properly in the whole of our lives.
As we wrap up the second commandment, this question, just like the catechism does with the first question, wants us to understand why it is that God should be worshiped as he commands. First, God is sovereign. God is over us. We are his creatures, and we must be obedient to him and his commands. If he tells us how we are or are not to worship him, we must be obedient. We can trust that the sovereign God knows better than we do what will bring him glory. Secondly, God's propriety in us. This is, again, reemphasizing the fact that because we belong to the LORD God, and because we are not sovereign over ourselves, we are to follow the practices and set behaviors of worship, both public and private, that he has prescribed to us in his holy Word. And thirdly, the catechism reminds us of the zeal God has for his own glory. This goes back to the question about whether or not God notices when he is being robbed of glory. Yes, he notices. He is a jealous God, jealous for his glory and for the fame of his own name.
Now we can turn our attention to the third commandment, the command to not take the LORD's name in vain. This is a commandment that I look forward to studying. It is one that, perhaps, I understand the least. What is entailed in taking the Lord's name in vain? Why is it so important that we follow this commandment? As we explore this commandment, let us first chiefly remember that God is a holy God, and he alone has revealed his name to us in his holy Scriptures. This is important. God wasn't named by anyone else. No one but God declared his name. He alone, the holy, eternal God, has declared his name to us, his finite creation. Therefore, we must remember that his very name itself is indeed holy. To use his name in vain is to not only trivialize his name, to discredit it's holiness, but to trivialize God himself and discredit his holiness.