Exodus 20:7

What Does It Actually Mean To Take God’s Name in Vain?


Exodus 20:7 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 what does it actually mean to take the name of the LORD in vain most people think it means just to use the name of Jesus Christ or God as a curse word you know to speak a curse over somebody using the name of God or to proclaim in a cursing way the name of Jesus or something like that it’s quite a bit more than that as I was thinking about that what it means to take somebody’s name in vain is to use their name very lightly or to make yourself associated with that person but then you do the opposite of what that person stands for so to take the name of God in vain would be to call yourself by His name and then live completely the opposite of His values for example you could have a power of attorney from a very wealthy billionaire suppose a very wealthy billionaire made you his representatives pardon me made you his representative and gave you a power of attorney to use his name suppose that you went to the bank of that person and you withdrew money from his account that he didn’t authorize you to use you’re taking his name in vain suppose you represent yourself as a person that’s the representative of a wealthy billionaire because you have power of attorney and yet you do exactly the opposite of what that man’s purpose is what his intention is what are you doing? taking his name in vain what it means to take a name in vain is you call yourself by somebody’s name and then you do the opposite of everything that person represents so we find that there are people today that call themselves by the name of the LORD Jesus Christ Yeshua Ha Mashiach and they claim to be one of His followers and yet they live in immorality they sleep with a boyfriend or a girlfriend they live in a way that’s contrary to His values they do the opposite they judge other people they wound other people steal, cheat, lie what are you doing if you call yourself by the name of the LORD and you do the things that are the opposite of the LORD’s character you’re actually taking His name in vain what happens if you call yourself a believer and yet you judge all kinds of people around you what you’re doing is taking the name of the LORD in vain so when we do things that are the opposite of the character of the one whom we serve whose name we have taken upon ourselves we’re using His name wrongly so we’re saying I represent Him I’m His follower I’m the follower of the LORD and then we do exactly the opposite of that we’re taking His name in vain and when I realized that that was convicting we all do that from time to time we all make mistakes we all sin we do things that are the opposite of the one that we represent but the key is not that we’re going to be perfect the key is that we recognize it and repent when we’ve done wrong that when we’ve misrepresented who the LORD is the one whom we serve it’s critical that we repent acknowledge that and ask forgiveness I’ve had times where I spoke in an unkind way or a way that I know was wrong and I had to go back to that person and ask forgiveness I had an encounter at an airport earlier this year where I became angry with someone that was sort of blocking my goal and not allowing me to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish and I felt convicted and needed to repent and I asked that person to forgive me because I in essence had taken the Lord’s name in vain not that I used the curse word but I had behaved in a way that was the opposite of the one I represented and so it’s critical for us to understand that and repent when we do that so that we don’t just take the Lord’s name in vain and never repent and never ask forgiveness so let’s pray Father I pray that today we wouldn’t use your name in vain that we would use your name correctly that we would represent you correctly that we would be your covenant representatives and that people would look at us and see your character that your name would be glorified and honored because of our behavior today because of the way that we carry ourselves and the that we carry your name that we would bring glory to your name not discredit and disrespect to your name and not bring vanity to your name Father I pray that for each one of us and today LORD I pray that we would love you with all our heart that we would bless other people around you and you’d use us to make a difference in our environment in the name of Yeshua Amen


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