In this series of posts on the Ten Commandments, we come to the third commandment which addresses the problem of misusing God’s name. Exodus 20:7 reads, “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.”
The word “vain” is describing an empty expression or usage of God’s name. This would include broken oaths or vows; irreverence; scorn; or cursing. These violations carry consequences, “…the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”
“The abuse of His name snaps open an umbrella that deflects the showers of grace God desires to give us,” wrote R. Kent Hughes.
The third commandment deserves some serious thought especially as we live in a culture that has become increasingly vulgar and irreverent. We have become like the friend of Lord Byron, who according to Byron was described this way, “He knew not what to say, and so he swore.” (more…)