MaThis series of Bible study continues with the Ten Commandments number 3. It appears in Exodus 20:7. I hope the lesson helps you understand the true meaning of this command. It helped me as I was mistaken on this one too!
The name of God is His identity. And, we should use it only to praise or worship Him. It’s not meant as a swear word or amusing anecdote. The 3rd commandment is about using the Lord’s name in vain. It’s meaning can be confusing.
Let’s take a look at number three of the ten commandments and examine how we can use it in our lives.
The 10 Commandments of God – The 3rd Commandment Meaning
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” – Exodus 20:7 NASB
Does Profanity Break the 3rd Commandment?
First, I’m not going to condone the use of cursing. I’ve always felt that educated people should have enough words in their vocabulary without using profanity.
Second, the 3rd commandment is not so much about using God’s name in a curse word as it is about misuse.
It means not using His name in an empty or frivolous way, or for personal gain or to give yourself credibility. It is also about not using His name to gain power over others. Many people of the Old Testament used God’s name for the wrong reasons. For instance, King Saul used God’s name to try and manipulate Samuel when Samuel came to anoint a new king. – 1 Samuel 16:6-13
Not the Way to Use God’s Name
The Israelites believed that using the name of God would give them some sort of power over others. So, many times they misused God’s name in order to curse others who had wronged them. In other words, they used His name for hurtful reasons or for revenge.
What is God’s Name?
The name of God has been stricken from Scripture and the word “LORD” in all caps is used as a placeholder. I know, many call God Jehovah or Yahweh. But, most scholars argue that this is not the true name of the All Mighty.
For now, we’ll have to settle for calling Him Almighty Father.
Honoring God as He Instructed in the 3rd Commandment
God did not make up these commandments on the spur of the moment. Most of them were a reflection of wrongful acts He saw His people committing. And, God used the laws to turn Israel into a nation.
Let’s be very cautious in how we use God’s name. Always respect and revere Him as the LORD and the ALMIGHTY. Use His name in a manner that is worthy of His greatness, and not for personal gain or powe
Love in Christ
If you would like to know more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16.