“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
Q: What is the third commandment?
A: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we should not use his name to curse, swear, lie, or cheat. Instead, we should call his name whenever there’s trouble, whenever we pray, and whenever we praise and thank him.
Since God’s name represents the greatness and glory of who he is, it is right for us to view his name with a healthy degree of reverence. Do you know what reverence means? Reverence means deep respect for someone or something. In light of who God is we should show deep respect for that which represents him, namely, his name.
The Bible gives some reasons why we should show reverence for his name and oftentimes those reasons focus on God’s power or his mighty acts. Consider these verses from the Psalms:
Psalm 8:1 says, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”
Psalm 66:1-3 says, “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.’”
Psalm 75:1 says, “We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.”
Did you notice a common theme in these verses? The Psalmist connects the name of God with his mighty deeds, the evidence of his glory that we can see. We should show deep reverence for the name of God because his name represents all that he can do. And God is limitless in what he can do!
We should never misuse the name of God because his name represents his mighty power. It disrespects God’s power to belittle his name.
Our Father, thank you that you have revealed the greatness of who you are in ways that we can see. Your creation is matchless in beauty. Our bodies that you have created are wondrous beyond description. Thank you for being our creator, savior, and sustainer. In light of these marvelous truths we want to honor your name with reverence and praise. Help us when we falter. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.