In this portion of Ezekiel, God is shining a magnifying glass on prophets and preachers. He’s mad (and rightly so) that people have used His name to their own gain. They substitute real prophesy with feel-good phrases and observations that turn into cliches.

“All they do is fantasize comforting illusions and preach lying sermons. They say ‘God says . . .’ when God hasn’t so much as breathed in their direction” (13:5)

Scathing.

True.

Still happens.

And God still doesn’t like it.

I think maybe this is what God meant in the Big Ten when He talked about using His name in vain. Don’t you? This is more disrespectful than stubbing your toe and screaming the name of a Deity.

When you really think about it, “vain” has to do with being fruitless. There is nothing more fruitless than saying “God told me…” when He didn’t. No fruit. “”Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4) 

Abiding prevents us from doing stupid, pointless, fruitless stuff.

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