April 13, 2005
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
We’ve discussed this subject before, but it is always good to revisit it. The third commandment focuses on taking the name of God, not in vanity or with meaningless repetition, but with purpose and power. God’s name is precious and valuable.
God’s name stands for His character, reputation, and authority, so His glory is at stake. There is power behind His name. And this commandment doesn’t just touch on speaking the name of the Lord profanely, because that indeed is a wicked and evil thing to do. But instead it is taking the name of the Lord and using it in ANY way that is not reverent or respectful of Him, such as hypocrisy.
I heard about a little boy who saw a rat in his back yard and decided to kill it. So he took his baseball bat and killed it. He got so hyped up about the situation that he ran inside to tell his parents with the baseball bat in one hand and the rat in the other. All the while, he didn’t realize the preacher of his church was visiting his parents, so he didn’t hesitate yelling out, “Mom and dad, you’re not going to believe this! I hit this rat in the head and then stomped on it.” Once he noticed the preacher, he quickly finished up saying, “And then the Lord called him home.”
Even though that may be a far-fetched illustration, it drives the point home. You can break this commandment conveniently using God’s name in a phrase, when you pray meaninglessly, or when you worship and don’t mean it. So how do you take the name of God seriously?
God promises blessing after blessing when we use His name properly. Love the name of God, live the name of God, and lean on the name of God. Treat it with the utmost love and respect, and use it carefully and tenderly as an act of worship. Begin by holding your family, friends, and fellow church members accountable in this. If you show respect for the name of God around others, people will show more respect for you.
INSTEAD OF CURSING, LET THERE BE BLESSING AND PRAISE WHEN USING THE NAME OF GOD!