Taking God’s name in vain



We, as children of obedience, must not take God’s name in vain, as it is written: “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.” (Exodus 20:7). For His name is holy, and thus it must be hallowed (Matthew 6:9).

You may ask me, ‘When does one take God’s name in vain?’ Here is the answer.

If one makes a vow (a solemn promise) to the Lord, and he does not perform it, he takes God’s name in vain. That’s why Solomon said: “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5).

If one swears by God’s name falsely, he takes God’s name in vain, for he profanes His name. That’s why the Law says: “Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:12 – NIV). – However, remember that we, as Christians, are forbidden to swear any kind of oath, lest we fall into judgement (Matthew 5:34; James 5:12) -.

If one claims to be speaking for God (that is, in His name) when he is not speaking His Word, he takes God’s name in vain. That is what the false prophets did in the days of Jeremiah, and because of their sin God foretold Jeremiah He would punish them. “Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.” (Jeremiah 14:14-15).

If one refers to God in trash talk or he uses God’s name as an exclamation, he takes God’s name in vain.