Exodus 20: 7 The Third Word: Do Not Use God’s Name in Vain

Exodus 20:7 

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 

What is God’s Name?

The title, God is not His Name. Rather, it, as well as Lord, is a general reference to Gods Personal Name. We learn this in the first part of Exodus as Moses and the Lord have their first back and forth. 

Exodus 3:13-14 

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. 

“I Am That I Am” essentially means “To Be, self-existed, or eternal.”

The Israelites would not speak or write His Name because they felt it was too holy. So, when copying Scripture or writing His Name, they used what became known as the “Tetragrammaton” or “YHVH.”

This became “Yahweh, Yehovah, or Jehovah” but, since His Name wasn’t spelled or spoken for so long, we don’t truly know how it is pronounced. This was partly so that His Name was not used in vain.

Most of the time, we see this as a prohibition against cursing or invoking Gods general Name, or the Name of Jesus, as a curse word, and this should be something that we refrain from. Yet it means something much more. 

Firstly it tells us not to “take” the Lords Name in vain. 

Do we take it?

Do you let it be spoken around you by friends, in movies, on television, or in music?

Do you allow your kids to hear or say it?

The Hebrew word for “In vain,” is “Shav,” and it means “vanity, falseness, emptiness of speech, worthlessness, and carelessness.”

We forget sometimes that these Words were not some entity who is hurling out rules and regulations that man must follow or else, rather, these were coming from a loving Father Who wanted man to know how life should be lived in His world. 

He wants us to prosper not to fail. 

He knows how we are and he knows the things that we will allow to happen in our lives. 

To use His Name in vain:

There is a trivialization that occurs. 

When the Lords Name is taken in vain; when we use His Name as a curse or as a vow, we desensitize others to its true power and it loses its impact. 

There are ramifications that occur

We must be careful how we use His powerful Name because there are consequences. 

We can damn someone possibly through our words if they are important to them. 

We can damn our own intentions, works, or things with our words. 

James 3:5-12 

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 

His Name is powerful and He would rather we use it to call on Him in time of praise, in times of need, and for help. 

In this we will not use or take His Name in emptiness but in glory and power as God intended 


About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
This entry was posted in Christianity 101, Exodus Bible Study and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Exodus 20: 7 The Third Word: Do Not Use God’s Name in Vain

  1. simonjkyte says:

    There are two versions

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