*We must take note here that this command concerns the shrines and names of pagan deities in the Land of Israel, not anywhere else!
On a literal level, this commandment has taken the form of not writing the Sacred name anywhere where it could be soiled or defaced, such as on clothing that goes in the laundry basket alongside undergarments and soiled clothing, bumper stickers that gets soiled with mud, or anywhere where it can be discarded in a common fashion.
Another application of this commandment is to treat sacred books with respect like not taking them to a bathroom, laying them on the floor, ...Even in sacred books though, due to the possibility of its mishandling, the Name is often inferred with a double yod. Hashem's Name is also never to be mentioned except within the precincts of the Temple and for sacred purposes. That is why the Tanach and the Brit are full of circumlocution. Yeshua used some of those as he referred to His own Father as 'Father' אבא, 'Heaven' שמים, 'God' אלהים, but never by His actual Name, very much like we do not call our earthly father by his name, but by his title: Papa, or Daddy. Even Paul, who was never recorded as addressing Hashem by anything else but circumlocutions except perhaps in the Temple, tells us that the Spirit of Hashem within us calls out, 'Abba אבא Father' (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6).
I think that in the religious ideas of our modern society we have lost some sort of respect for sacred building, places, books, or even names which comes with great irony. In truth, we do not address personalities by their first or family names either; we rather say, Mr President, Mr Speaker, your Honor, your Majesty, etc...
I am aware that some my disagree with me about these rules concerning the name, and even would tell me that since we are 'the Temple of Hashem', we can use the Name. I would say to that that if we really believed so, we should never go to a department store, never watch TV or listen to worldly music, in that we should completely come out of this world anything related to our world at this point in time relates to lying, sensuality, theft, oppression of the poor and or standards that are against the Torah. And even if we were to completely go out of this world and live somewhere by ourselves in a cave, we would at this point discover the depth of the truth of the Words of the Master, "For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders. . . . "(Mat 15:19 CJB) I have actually done the experiment!!!
On a midrashic level, there are some other ways that we regularly deface Hashem's Name. The Tanach teaches us that we are made in the similitude and image of Hashem, therefore, whatever wrong we do to those made in His Image, we do to Him.
-Whenever we lie to someone made in His image, we lie to Him
-Whenever we kill one made in His image we kill Him.
-Whenever we defame someone made in His image, we defame Him.
-Whenever we steal from someone made in His image, we steal from Him.
-Whenever we publicly shame someone made in His image, we publicly shame him. (Deut 20:8 :we will talk next week)
-Whenever we refuse help or charity to someone made in His image, we refuse help or charity to Him. (Deut 15:8)
-Whenever we disobey the rulings of the judges of Israel who judge by His image, we disobey Him (Deut 8-13). In light of this, we need to remember that Yeshua our Rabbi and Master established for us a Sanhedrin composed of His disciples (Mat 19:28), appointment which started right at the fisrt Shavuot after the resurrection as we read in Acts 2, and that was vindicated by the death of Ananias and Sephirah as recorded in Acts 5:1-14)
The examples are endless and at this time when we are entering the season of introspection that precedes the Fall Festivals, it should cause us to review some of the standards of our lives. We should ask ourselves:
How do I deface Hashem's Name in my
overall wrong attitude towards
and all those that are in contact with me.
-Make sure not to do the opposite and search how others deface Hashem's Name by treating you wrongly. The Master did say,
..., as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
(Mat 25:40 ESV)
... as they did it to you ..., they did it to me.'