“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.
Do you love knowing that your parents hear you when you call their name? Maybe you had a nightmare (or if you are older, you remember this experience) and you called out to your Daddy or Mommy in the night and they came to comfort you. You called their name, “Daddy” or “Mommy” and they came to your bedside. That is a great thing isn’t. You know their name and they respond when you call to them.
The same is true in our relationship with God. He hears us when we call. We know his name. Father. Jesus. Spirit. Yahweh. Jehovah. Lamb of God. Mighty God. King of Kings. The list goes on and on. The point is that God has revealed to us his names and he loves it when we call on him.
Another reason why we don’t use God’s name flippantly or disrespectfully is because our knowledge of his name is a privilege. Not everyone on this earth knows the name of God and so they can’t call on the one they don’t know. We who are his have a great blessing and responsibility because we know his name. We are blessed because we are in his family, have his family name, and family members have access to the Father because we know his name. But we also want to see his family grow so that all the peoples of the earth can know his name as well. God wants to be known and called upon by all peoples in all places. He wants to use us to spread this blessing.
Read Psalm 116:1–2:
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
- Why does the Psalmist say that he loves the Lord?
- Based on this text, how long are we supposed to call on God?
- In what ways do you need God to hear you in the upcoming days/weeks?
Our Father, your name is given to us so that we can come to you in our time of need. We are very needy. May we never believe that we can do anything on our own. You promise to be with us and to never forsake us. You promise to hear us when we call on you. We thank you so much for this truth! In Jesus’ name, Amen.