You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in Vain
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 (Exodus 20:7). I think, this is the most misunderstood and violated commandment of all. Sometimes people sin, not because they want to sin, but because they don’t know it is a sin, while others use God’s name profanely, because they have a spirit of wickedness and antichrist in them.
These days, it is a trend to say ‘Oh my God’, whenever people are surprised or excited. One of the most popular text message abbreviation is ‘OMG’. People use it casually and mindlessly with no reverence or love for God.
Hollywood movies, will have the name of ‘Jesus Christ’ exclaimed in their dialogues. Movie producers deliberately try to profane the name of God. Sometimes, God’s name is included so that it adds more drama and emphasis to the emotions and scenes of frustration, anxiety, calamities, amazement etc.
The name of Jesus Christ is the only name that is higher than any other name. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2: 8-11).
Although the name of Jesus Christ, is the most adored name in heaven and on earth, it is also the most despised name by Satan and those that are wicked. These people profane and blasphemy against the name of Jesus Christ. You will not find them profaning or blaspheming the names of any other gods. That’s because the devil will not profane his own name but the name of ‘The Only True Living God’.
Is it wrong to take God’s name often? No, it’s not wrong. We are to bless and praise the Lord always. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalms 34:1). However, it is a sin, when we take His name in vain, casually, without meaning it, without fearing Him and without any reverence to His Deity.
God’s name should not be taken to express our emotions of surprise, excitement, anger, frustration, sadness or happiness. God’s name is not to be mocked, disgraced, humiliated, blasphemed, profaned or joked about.
God’s name represents His reputation, character and authority. God’s holy name is the only name above all other names. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Act 4:12). God’s name should not be taken lightly, but should be taken very seriously. We should not use it inappropriately, casually or in vain.
God’s name has the power to save people, heal, deliver, provide and raise the dead back to life. God’s name should be taken in worship, praise, thanking and blessing Him. God name should be taken with reverence, fearfully, mindfully and purposefully.
We take God’s name in vain, when we live a life of hypocrisy. When we say we are Christians, we say that we are followers of Christ, we represent Him. If we represent Jesus Christ, we have to live our lives according to His word and His will. Otherwise, we are taking the Lord’s name in vain and we are lying to others about being a Christian and dishonouring the name of God by our conduct.
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5: 20-21).
If taking God’s name was an insignificant matter, it wouldn’t have been mentioned in the Ten Commandments. If we take God’s name in vain, we will be guilty before God because this is a serious matter to Him. When we love God, we have reverence to His name and are fearful of how we use His name.
Are your thoughts, your words, your lifestyles, bringing glory to God? Are you representing God’s name in a worthy manner? Are you a true ambassador of Jesus Christ? Is God’s name the most hallowed name on your lips? Do you say Jesus Christ casually, unnecessarily, inappropriately? We will be accountable to God when we stand before Him for every inappropriate word we have spoken, especially those words we uttered in vain of His Holy Name.