"Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day." Psalm 25:4-5
Text: Exodus 20 : 7
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT
The third commandment logically developed from the first two commandments! The first commandment forbids the consideration of any other gods! The second forbids the making of any graven image to represent God! The third commandment focuses on the Name of the Lord!
“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
1. “The name of the LORD your God”
Moses once asked God what His name was, just as he was about to embark on his quest of leading Israel out of the land of Egypt (Cf. Exodus 3:13). God’s classic reply was “I AM WHO I AM” (Cf. Exodus 3:14)! The great I AM was the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Cf. Exodus 3:15).
The name of God was a time-honoured one! His name being illustrious and lofty must always be spoken of only with a great sense of love and awe! God’s name was never meant to be bandied about loosely in mundane conversation! One may breathe His name, but only if there is great consciousness and awareness of who He is!
2. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain”
What does it mean to take God’s name in vain? Let us consider the following thoughts:-
a) What one must do with reference to the Great Name of God
i) It must be upheld.
ii) It must be well-regarded.
iii) It must be honored.
iv) It must be revered.
b) What one must not do with reference to God’s Name
i) It must not be taken lightly.
ii) It must not to be held in contempt.
iii) It must not be dishonoured.
iv) It must not be blasphemed.
CONSEQUENCES OF TAKING GOD’S NAME IN VAIN
If a person takes the name of God in vain, he is guilty of sinning against Him! He would be adjudged guilty and he would be held responsible for his sin! What the Lord would do against the guilty individual is not specifically stated in this text. Nevertheless, the fact that one would stand guilty before God, if he were to take God’s name lightly, must cause a person to think twice before he uses the name of God!