By Tope Banso
“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 New King James Version).
Don’t take the name of the LORD in vain. This is a commandment of the LORD recorded in the Old Testament but still valid today. It is the third commandment in the Ten Commandments, which is rendered in some Bible translations thus:
“Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name” (New Living Translation).
“You must not use the name of the Lord your God thoughtlessly; the Lord will punish anyone who misuses his name” (New Century Version).
“No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name” (The Message).
“You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Amplified Bible).
Deuteronomy 5:6-21 is a repetition of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. Deuteronomy 5:11 echoes Exodus 20:7 above. The two scriptures, not only emphasize the need not to misuse the name of the LORD, but also state that punishment awaits violators.
This is because the name of the LORD is important to him. The LORD and his name are synonymous; they’re the same; they’re one. If you won’t call the name of the LORD in vain, you must have a good understanding of his name. Here are some important things you should know:
1. The name of the LORD is an expression of his character, his attributes (Exodus 34:5-7, 3:14-15, 6:2-3).
2. The name of the LORD is excellent; it is majestic or glorious (Psalm 8:1, 9).
3. The name of the LORD is holy (Leviticus 22:2, 32).
4. The name of the LORD is great and awesome. His name is wonderful, powerful, fearful (Psalm 76:1, 99:3, 148:13; Jeremiah 10:6-7).
5. The name of the LORD is near. Psalm 75:1 says, “We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near” (New King James Version). Because there is no difference between the name of the Lord and his person, that scripture means the LORD is near.
6. The name of the LORD is a strong tower (Proverbs 18:10). There is protection in the name of the LORD. His name will protect you, as much as the LORD will protect you, if he were physically present with you. Whoever calls on his name shall be saved (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13).
Therefore, don’t take the name of the LORD in vain. In other words, don’t misuse the name of the LORD your God. Don’t use the name of the Lord your God thoughtlessly. Don’t use the name of the LORD your God in curses or silly banter. Furthermore, don’t use his name lightly or frivolously in false affirmations or profanely. The LORD will punish anyone who violates this commandment.
Esteem, praise and call on his name.
PRAYER POINT: Father, forgive me for misusing your name in the past. Help me, Holy Spirit, to honour the name of the LORD henceforth.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪Banso, an Abuja-based minister can be reached at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org;
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