Exodus 20:7 (KJV) 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.
Raymond! Raymond! You need to ask God’s forgiveness! Exclaimed Francis. “What have I done wrong?” Raymond responded. Have you forgotten the ten commandments? You just took the name of the Lord in vain, Francis answered. “But you know I’ll never do that on purpose, it was a reflex action. I shouted Jesus because that car almost knocked me down. But I’ll go and ask God’s forgiveness” Raymond said.
What is taking the name of the Lord in vain? For Raymond and Francis, the name of the Lord is so sacred that it shouldn’t be called even in danger, the Lord’s name is to be mentioned only in prayers or in a sacred gathering, such as the Church.
What does the word ’take’ mean? According to the English dictionary, it means to get in one’s hand, possession, or control. Thus taking the name of the Lord in vain is possessing the name of the Lord in vain. Only those who are children of God can possess his name. Consequently, they are the ones who can bear or take his name in vain.
2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV) says “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”.
So, taking the name of the Lord in vain is claiming to be in Christ or being a Christian and at the same time living in sin. According to today’s passage, this person will not be guiltless.
Go into today knowing that to be a child of God is to bear God’s name and that hallowing this name is by departing from iniquity. If you continue in sin after you have known the Lord, you are taking the name of the Lord in vain.
Prayer: I am a child of God; a bearer of his name. Hallowed is the name of the Lord upon me. I live to bring God glory in Jesus’ name.
—Dr. Emmanuel James
Yearly Plan: Obadiah (In Devotional Audio)
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