And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. — Leviticus 24:15
The boss of a person with whom I am acquainted told him and the other employees that they would be responsible for cleaning the employee restrooms on a scheduled rotation. This individual, presumably motivated by the thought that everyone who used the restrooms should be on the rotation, defiantly informed the boss that it was okay to have such a cleaning schedule if he (the boss) was on it too. As a result, he is no longer working at that company. His comment fell into the category of “gross insubordination,” and his employment was terminated as a consequence.
In our society, respect is required for people in certain positions. For example, when a judge enters the courtroom, everyone rises and remains standing until instructed to be seated. The judge is not addressed casually or without honor. There is a required decorum; to address a judge in a disrespectful manner would likely result in a charge of contempt of court.
However, there is no comparison between the respect due a boss or a judge to the respect and extremely high degree of reverence that we must show the Creator of heaven and earth. God deserves all the respect and reverence we can muster, and more!
Today’s focus verse shows that the Mosaic Law demanded respect for God. Blaspheming or cursing Him was (and still is) extremely serious business. Making blasphemy a capital offense showed its importance. While that level of punishment would be viewed as extreme in today’s society, it certainly demonstrated the importance that God placed upon proper reverence being given to His name.
Ponder the vast difference between mankind and God. How lowly and insignificant we are when compared to the Great Creator of the universe! We have no right to think we can be even slightly disrespectful to Him and be entitled to any mercy. Moses and the Israelites more closely recognized our true position (compared to God) than do many people today.
Let us take care to always show utmost respect for the awesome God we serve!
In this portion of text, laws for Tabernacle service and laws regulating conduct in the camp were set in place for the people.
Blasphemy was indicative of dishonor and defiance toward God, and its penalty was death by stoning. This penalty may seem severe to us, but it was no doubt a deterrent. Moses had so much respect, reverence, and deep affection for God and His name, that this punishment was not considered extreme at all.
The Israelites considered it impious to pronounce God’s name, which is Jehovah, so they always put either “Adonai” (Lord), or “hashshem” (the Name) in the place of it. To them, God’s name was held to be so sacred that they rarely wrote it, and never pronounced it. In fact, according to some Hebrew scholars, God’s name has been unused by the Jews for so long, that the true Hebrew pronunciation is now totally lost.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The way of fellowship with God
C. By obedience in worship and reverence (24:1-23)
1. Obedience in worship (24:1-9)
a. The oil (24:1-4)
b. The bread (24:5-9)
2. Obedience in reverence (24:10-23)
a. The blasphemy of God’s name (24:10-12)
b. The judgment for blasphemy prescribed (24:13-23)
Even though the laws of our society do not require the punishment for blasphemy mandated by the Mosaic Law, offenders will face eternal consequences! Let us be careful to always honor the Name of our God.