SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16
“… that I may daily
perform my vows.”
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT AND YOU
The “name of the LORD” (Exod 20:7) does not refer to God’s titles only, but also to His Word, character, attributes, works and commands. Taking His Name in vain is to be irreverent to Him. It is sinful to use His Name as a swear word or exclamation. “OMG” (which stands for “oh my God”), “Gosh” (“sh” in place of “d”), “Jeez” (shortened form of “Jesus”) are not any less sinful just because we do not use the word “God” or “Jesus.” These are certainly examples of taking of God’s Name in vain.
We also take God’s Name in vain when we break any vow that is taken in His Name. Such vows are taken, for example, at baptism, at marriage, at church membership entrance, and when taking up leadership roles in church. Have I been living out what I have vowed? Have I lived up to His Name as a “Christ”ian? We also break this commandment when we use His Name for something that is not true. For example, you say, “I thank God for giving me this job” when the job causes you to break God’s commandments (eg. working on the Sabbath). Or, “I praise God for giving my child this talent to play the piano” when your child plays pop music at competitions. Or, “May God be glorified by my good results and success” when you gain these at the expense of attending church. Or, “I thank God for providing this for me” when you live beyond your means, take huge bank loans, and hardly come to church because you are too busy working to ensure you can service your loans. We think just because we use God’s Name, everything is suddenly acceptable and even holy. Also, when we propound false and erroneous teachings, we take His Name in vain. Be careful how you teach or handle God’s Word. Do not say what He has not said. Do not misrepresent Him and Who He is. Each one of us needs to evaluate carefully before we use His Name or Word in our speech. God will surely judge and we will not escape His punishment or chastisement.
THOUGHT: The Third Commandment is more than just using God’s Name carelessly in speech.
PRAYER: LORD, help me to sincerely live up to Thy Name.