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Monday, November 5, 2012

O My God

I was reading my Bible and came across the phrase “O my God.” This phrase is used as part of a prayer in Psalm 103:24: I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.

I decided I’d look up “O my God” in a concordance. It’s used 21 times in the Bible, and EVERY reference is a prayer. The person might be asking God for deliverance, or for God to remember him (or a group of people). The praying person might be calling out to God in anguish. He sometimes makes a declaration of trust, purpose, or praise to God. Always, the phrase “O my God” is used as an expression of fervent prayer.

No matter where you live in the world, this phrase is misused. It can be an expression of catastrophe or a simple exclamation. People who believe in a different god say it. People who don’t believe in God say it. People who are Christians say it—outside the context of prayer. It has become a customary phrase, and the misuse has cheapened its meaning.

Here are some examples that rightly use the phrase, “O my God:”
            Nehemiah 13:31b, Remember me, O my God, for good.
            Psalm 25:2, O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine 
                 enemies triumph over me.
            Psalm 71:12, O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
            Daniel 9:19, O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for 
                 thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

These verses help us see the best context, the biblical use of “O my God,” which is prayer.

The third of the Ten Commandments says: Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exodus 20:7).

When we speak God’s name, we would be wise to consider how we use it.
            Are we praying?
            Are we sharing our faith?
            Are we praising Him?
            Are we teaching others about our great God?

I delight to do thy will, O my God:
 yea, thy law is within my heart (Psalm 40:8).

1 comment:

  1. I always cringe when I hear that being said as an expletive or used lightly. But what a blessing ti is to see how it is used in prayer in the Bible.


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