A second way human beings take God’s name in vain.
7 "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. (Exod. 20:7 NAU)
If we want to understand what God had in mind in this commandment, we need to ask, “what does it mean to ‘take the name of the Lord?’” The Hebrew word translated “take” is pronounced nisa. נשׂא
And it means “to take up, to lift up, to raise, to carry.” This definition coming from The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament compiled by Harris, Archer and Waltke. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon. And Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies. So, it means “to take up and carry the name of the Lord.” It means to identify oneself with the name of the Lord, יְהוָ֔ה Yahweh. It means that those around you will know that you identify yourself with Yahweh and that you profess to be one of His chosen ones, His child. And better, it means that we identify ourselves with the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s why we’re called Christians.
Who does that? Who takes the name of another and identifies with another by taking their name? A bride does this. When a couple marries the bride usually takes the name of her husband and from now on, she is no longer known as Lorraine Schmuel but as Lorraine Limeburger. She has taken the name of her husband.
But what if Lorraine Limeburger turns out to be a sexually immoral person and commits adultery with her neighbor or a co-worker? What then would be the point of her taking the name of her husband when they were married? Lorraine has taken the name of her husband in vain by committing adultery. And that is the deeper meaning of the third commandment.
We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus but reject His commandments. 1 Jn. 2:3-4; 5:2-3.
We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus yet embrace this world with its lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh. When we love darkness instead of light. 1 Jn. 2:16
We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus yet deny Him by how we live and behave while others watch our behavior. Eph. 5:3-6
We take God’s name in vain when we profess faith in Jesus yet pursue materialism instead of holiness and righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11 NAU)
But I am persuaded better things of you, my beloved. Hebs. 6:9.
In Jesus’ name, amen.