“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.
How would you feel if someone used your last name as a swear word? Every time something bad happened they would shout, “Oh, Nelson!” Or, “Oh, Smith!” Or, “Oh, Taylor!” Probably wouldn’t make you feel very good would it? That is a family name! It is dear to us!
Our name is a symbol of who we are. It is precious to us. One of the reasons that the name of God is precious to us is because in a way, it is our name as well. Just like a woman receives a new last name when she marries a man, we too, when we enter into a covenant relationship with God, enter into a new family, and that family has a name. The name is the family of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When someone is baptized after they first become a Christian, we hear these words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The name of God is now our name. We have a new family and that family is the family of God. We are his and he is ours. As a result, the name of God is precious to us and shouldn’t be used in a way that does not honor it.
Read Matthew 28:19–20:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- When we make disciples whose family do they become apart of?
- Based on this text, who is invited to receive a new family name? Only certain people?
Our Father, thank you that you have given us a new name. We find our security in you and that you have adopted us. May you continue to draw people to yourself from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Use us! May your family continue to expand and may the joy that we feel because of our new name be spread to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.