Exodus 20:7“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”
In chapter 3 of Exodus, Moses found himself talking to God. He removed his sandals, approached the burning bush and God told him what was coming. He was going to go into Egypt to deliver God’s people from slavery.
Moses asked two pointed questions and they are the same two questions every man or woman should ask when they come before God. He asked God, “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” (Ex 3:11-13)
This is the key to understanding the importance of the name of God. Who are we? Who was Moses? He was made from dirt and given life by the living God. This is why God told him to remove his sandals. The shoes that Moses wore separated him from the ground from which he was made.
God, alone, is holy. Holy means “different or separate.” God wanted Moses to remember that there was only one holy being in this encounter. He wanted Moses to understand who was God and who was the lump of clay.
When Moses asked God for His name, the only response he got was, “I Am Who I Am.”
That’s how our God wants us to know Him. He does not give us His name because His name must contain all that He is. We can’t comprehend that. Instead, we know God for what He does.
He is the Lord of Glory, The Deliverer, The Gracious and Merciful God, The Preserver of Men, The Shield of Thy Help, The Beginning and The End, The Shadow of a Great Rock in a Weary Land ... I could go on but there are 935 such names for God in the Bible.
So, here is the lesson of the third commandment: taking God’s name in vain is not just something that we do with our words. It’s something we do with our minds and our hearts. His name is completely inseparable from what He does and who He is. We take His name in vain every time we fail to recognize that He is the Supreme God over all of our life.
To obey the 3rd commandment, you must answer to who you are and then come to terms with who He is. Do not make the name of God worthless or empty. It is the complete opposite: His name is worthy and full of life.
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”