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Today’s 333 Devotional: “Don’t Shame The Name”
The third commandment says, “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)
The Lord is saying His name is to be treated with honor and respect.
Whenever we speak God’s name it should be in a way that honors Him. Whenever we refer to God’s name, we are actually describing His character, and to slander God’s name, or to use it irreverently, or to associate it with vulgarity, or to sling it about with no meaning whatsoever, is the same thing as blasphemy.
The word vanity in the Hebrew means, “to empty of content, to make irrelevant, or void.” That’s what the third commandment is about. It’s about emptying God’s name of meaning and significance, making it irrelevant, and identifying God as something He’s not.
God has given us the use of His name, not for our own purposes, but to fulfill His. And by making this a commandment He’s saying that there are rules about how we are to use His name.
We need to use God’s name according to His written instructions.
Therefore, we’re not to use the name of God profanely in justifying a lie, or even in calling ourselves Christians and not living up to that name, which is called hypocrisy.
In fact, it was for this very reason that God brought judgment against Israel. They profaned His name amongst the nations that surrounded them.
And so, God is calling us to stop profaning His name by our words and our actions, and instead we are to “hallow” it, that is, set His name apart from all that defiles.
And so, to rephrase this third commandment, I think God is saying, “Don’t Shame the Name,” because there are those who are watching and judging whether God is who we say He is, not only by what we say, but by the way we live.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study