Don't Use God's Name Lightly
By Jim Murriner
Ex 20:1-7 "And God spake all these words, saying,"
"I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"
"And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Because God spoke all these words, and because He is the Mighty Self Existing one, because He is the "I AM THAT I AM",who by His mighty power had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, because of who and what He is we are not to let anything get between our faces and His face. He is to be the reason that we do all that we do, and all that we do we are to do with the understanding that God is watching and we are to remember that each thing is to be done for His glory, as we are told in ICor. 10:31.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
Keeping this in mind we are never to describe God in our own terms, not by a statue, not by a picture, or in any physical terms, because God is Spirit as we are told in John 4:24.
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
Notice here too that we are not only to worship Him in spirit, but in truth. If we are to worship Him we must do it according to what He has told us in His word.
We are not to form any sort of image of God in our minds that would make of Him anything other than what His Word declares Him to be. When we take lightly the commands in the Word of God, and ignore them we then make Him out to be a different God than He is. When we do this we are creating another god in our minds. There are many in religion today, who truly speak of a god that they represent as the God of Heaven, and yet their god is not.
Because of all these things we are to be very careful just how we use the name of God. We are warned here in the seventh verse not to use His name in vain.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
As we look at the word meaning here, we see that the Hebrew word which is translated "take" is a word that we could translate "willful use", "conscious manipulation". We then are not to use the name of God in a way the it is manipulation of the meaning of it. We are not to use it for our own use.
Many today use the name of God, that it might help their business. Politicians many times use the term "God bless" only to make the voters think that they are a good Christian. These are examples of manipulation of His name.
When we speak of a person, we speak of their character. This is true also of the name of God. To use the name of God is to speak of all the attribuetes of God, or His character as a whole. To mention the name of God is to refer to His Position as Sovereign God, Ruler of all things.
The word "vain" means useless or of no consequence, or of no value.
We then are to be very careful that we do not use His name in a way that His character would be misunderstood. We are never to use His name in a way that it is light or frivolous.
We are not to consciously use that which identifies the character of God, in such a way that it is understood incorrectly.
We are never to speak His name in a way that makes Him look like He is less than the all Sovereign God that rules the universe, and controls every thing from the small things found in nature, to the granting of pardon to us, when we did not deserve it.
Far too often today folks take the name of God in vain, by their description of Him as a weak miserable God, who is pleading with the world to come unto Him, and furthermore they claim that He has no power to draw the lost sinner unto Himself.
When we who are children of God, tell others that we are children of God, while we do not live like Christ, and show no desire to do so, we take the name of God in vain.
Ezekiel 36:20 tells us of those who did just that, "And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land."
When we identify ourselves as Christians, and refuse to be faithful to His church, where He has promised to meet with us, and instead go to places that He tells us in His word to not go, we by our actions are taking the name of the Lord in Vain.
When we call ourselves Christians and use talk which is not honoring unto Him, and even tell jokes using foul language, and even vulgar jokes, we are taking the name of the Lord in vain.
Our behavior is to be such that it will promote the name of God rather than to tear it down.
We are to be very careful that we do not use the name of God in any way that it might be understood as worthless or of no value, or of lesser value than He presents it to be in His word.