Profane Lev. 19:12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There are words that you read in the Bible that you don’t fully appreciate until you look them up and define them. It even helps, at times, to see their etymology [the origin and development of a word]. Today we are going to study the word “profane.” It appears 39 times in the Old Testament and 7 times in the New Testament. The etymology and definitions below are from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.
Etymology of profane. Pro = Before; Fanum = the temple. Latin Profanus = outside the temple, not sacred. Late Middle English Profane = heathen.
The definitions of profane (noun) are:
- Not devoted to the holy and the sacred: secular.
- Not holy because unconsecrated, impure or defiled: heathen; unsanctified.
- Serving to debase or defile that which is holy; contemptuous of sacred things: irreverent.
- Characterized by abusive language directed against the name of God.
The definitions of profane (verb) are:
- To desecrate or pollute; to violate or treat with irreverence or contempt.
- To defile; to debase by a wrong, unworthy or vulgar use.
- To indulge in profanity.
Here’s what we learn to not profane in the Bible:
Don’t profane the name of the Lord – Lev 19:12 – you do this by using any reference to the Lord in an unholy or secular way. Oh Lord, Oh My God, and My Goodness are just some of the ways we use his name in vain.
Don’t profane yourself and your father – Lev 21:9 – we are priests to the Lord [1 Pet 2:5, 9]. Therefore, our children are children of priests. In the Old Testament, the daughter of a priest profaned [defiled] herself if she “played the whore.” Deut 22:13-21 shows you that she plays the whore when she sleeps with a man to whom she is not married. If she does this, she has profaned herself and her father, as well. [A father said, after the service, “Now I know why there is such a difference in my relationship with my daughters who have not profaned themselves and my lack of relationship with my daughter who has.”]
Don’t profane holy things – Ezek 22:26 – by not putting a difference between the holy things and the unholy. Joe West said, when I attempted to set his hat on top of his Bible, “Nothing on the Bible; its holy.” You and I are supposed to be holy. So, you must be careful not to put yourself in unholy places or expose yourself to unholy things [separation 2 Cor 6:14-18]. See Ezek 44:23.
Don’t profane your mind – 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 2:16 – profane babbling will profane your mind. And there are many of these in books, in schools and on the internet. In seminaries they have attacked the Holy Bible. The way to keep from profaning your mind is to study the words of God.
Don’t profane your inheritance – Heb 12:16 – Esau defiled and debased his sacred birthright. Don’t profane your eternal inheritance by selling out for temporal pleasures.