from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:11-12; Ezekiel 36:22-28
The third of the Ten Commandments says,
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)
What is God telling us when He says not to take His name in vain? I believe He is saying this:
My name is My identity.
It is Who I am.
Only say it if you mean it.
Don’t use it
as an expletive,
as a magic charm in an attempt to manipulate Me, or
as an empty vow to cover your lies.
Only say my name with the reverence and fear that my Being demands.
Keep My name holy.
But keeping God’s name holy affects far more than what we say. The Old Testament repeatedly warns God’s people against living in ways that would profane His holy name. God has a burning desire that all people everywhere would know Him. When we break His commandments and ignore His laws, we dishonor Him before those who need to see and know and trust Him. Sinful lives profane His holy name.
“I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.” (Ezekiel 36:23, NASB)
How can we keep God’s name holy? By living lives of love, honesty, consistency, and purity that show the world Who God is – that He is love, wisdom, peace, justice, and righteousness.