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 20:3

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain… This is the third commandment and I have heard this phrase quoted many times whenever someone would use the name of Jesus or God as an epithet or exclamation. The quoting of this verse in response to these actions never sat well with me, but I didn’t quite know why.

I came to the realization that taking this commandment to solely mean that one should not speak the name of The Lord as a swear word or exclamation would be reducing it to pettiness on God’s part. And He is NOT petty! I was then prompted to look up the meaning of “in vain” and when I did so, it was as if the penny dropped with regards to the meaning of this commandment!

In vain – Definition
Without success or a result.
Synonyms:
Unsuccessfully, without success, to no avail, to no purpose, fruitlessly

What I believe this commandment actually means is that we should not align ourselves with The Lord, and have no fruit, result, or success to show for it. It meant for the Israelites that they were to live worthy of being called The Lord’s people. It as it does today that we are not TO TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD WITHOUT EXERCISING THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES THAT GO ALONG WITH THAT STATUS!


Consider this: A woman gets married to a man in a public ceremony and takes his name becoming Mrs. Whoever. She then goes home with her husband, but refuses to share his bed, bear his children, keep his home, and actually denies him in public… Would this woman be a wife indeed, or a wife in vain?

This is the same as when a person becomes a Christian but refuses to commune with God, acknowledge his power, bear fruit, and actually deny God in public… Has such a person taken the name of The Lord indeed, or in vain?

Consider this — You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain… and translate — You shall not take the name of the LORD your God without success or a result…

Are you obeying the third Commandment?

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