THE 3rd COMMANDMENT - Part 1
It is amazing how intricate the human body is. God did this; He created us in His image. In so doing, He made us to look like Him, to love like Him and to live with Him. No wonder the Psalmist said, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). When Adam and Eve sinned against God, this beautiful fusion between God and His prime creation was shattered. People could no longer look like God, love like God or live with God. This is why the love of God in Christ Jesus is so wonderful.
Jesus Christ came to this earth and gave His life so that all who believe in His name would once again be able to look like God, to love like God and to live with God forever.
And so it is with the tongue. What a small instrument it is compared to the rest of our bodies, but as James 3 tells us, how great a fire can be set ablaze by the words it produces! When God spoke the commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7, NKJV), He was issuing a very serious warning to all people who in any way misuse His name.
Of all the synonyms associated with the taking of God’s name in vain, the one most closely identified is blaspheme. Some others include curse, abuse, profane, desecrate and revile. The bottom line is still the bottom line: God is making it very clear that blasphemy is the use of His name in any way other than to glorify Him alone! This means we can blaspheme by speaking God’s name irreverently and by using God’s name unlovingly.
One can hardly watch a movie these days without hearing God’s name or the name of the Lord Jesus used in this manner. I watched a supposed family movie recently and was once again treated to the repeated use of Jesus’ name as a curse word. Many in our world don’t even think about it anymore. God’s name is used to “inform” Him just how hot the weather is, and by athletes to describe how well they have just run or hit the ball. Beauty pageant contestants cover their mouths in shock as results are announced and proceed to use God’s name to emphasize their joy and triumph. Live microphones catch well-known politicians exchanging ringing criticisms and endorsements accompanied by blasphemies of every kind.
When God issued this commandment to Moses from the top of Mount Sinai, He was not making a suggestion that people merely “soften” or “ramp down” their use of His name in any way other than to glorify Him. He was letting them know just how serious this sin is. Blasphemy is no joke. When God’s name is evoked, this is not the time for a simple “Oops!” Remember, the Bible says He will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name. Perhaps the rampant disregard for the name of our heavenly Father is symptomatic of the serious spiritual condition we find ourselves in today.
This is why we have so much hope in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is not the unpardonable sin any more than any of the other Ten Commandments are. This sin can be forgiven because the Lord Jesus Christ came and gave His life. This is exactly what the cross is about. Moses was the law-carrier. If you want Moses to run your life, you will be limited by the law instead of by God’s grace. Jesus Christ came not to do away with the law but to fulfill it. This is why it is imperative for you to repent of all sin and trust in Jesus Christ by faith.
David Jones with excerpts from D.W.