I had a little epiphany this morning in my reading. I was reading in Jeremiah, and this passage jumped out at me: “But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. . . . And if these nations quickly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jer. 12:15-17)
It was a rather roundabout realization–that verse is talking about a righteous oath, not a profane exclamation–but for the first time, this truth hit me: even those who swear by using the name of our Lord in anger are, in effect, testifying to his authority and power.
Have you never wondered why people don’t get angry and say, “Oh, Confucius!” Or “Oh, Buddha!” or “Oh, Baal!”
I’ll tell you why–because there is no power in those names. And given that rocks and trees will one day praise the name of Jesus Christ, should we be surprised when we hear even unbelievers inadvertently testifying to the power in that name?