Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain. – Exodus 20:7.
This is God’s Second Commandment. God forbids us to take His name in vain. God’s name is everything by which He reveals Himself to us, particularly in His precious Word. If we take this divine name in vain, if we profane it, we commit a grievous sin and profane the divine Majesty itself. We should not curse by the name of God, that is, neither blaspheme, nor invoke upon ourselves or others the wrath and punishment of God. We should not “swear” (Matthew 5:34-36) by the name of God; we should not speak unnecessary, frivolous, sinful, or even false oaths. We should not use witchcraft nor incantations, not have our fortune told, nor tell fortunes ourselves, not consult the dead, nor practice similar satanic arts by the name of God (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Galatians 5:19-20). We should not lie nor deceive by God’s name, not adorn nor cover up false doctrine or an ungodly life by making use of the Word and name of God (Ephesians 5:25; Jeremiah 23:11, 14, 16, 21, 25-26, 31). No, since God has so graciously revealed Himself to us by making known to us His name and giving us His Word, we should hold fast to Him by making proper use of His name and His Word, for this is what He would have us do; and in childlike fear and love we should call upon Him in every “trouble” (Psalm 50:15) of body and soul; we should confidently believe that He will surely “hear us” (I John 5:15; see also v. 14), and be “good” (Psalm 118:1) and kind to us, and shower His blessings upon us (Psalm 23:6); and at all times we should “pray” to Him (Luke 18:1), “praise” Him (Psalm 100:4), and give “thanks” to Him (Psalm 136:1). How graciously does our God tender Himself to us through His name and His Word!
PRAYER – Thou God, great God, Thou makest Thyself known to me; oh, so graciously, by revealing Thy name and Thy Word to us. And Thou wilt that in Thy precious Word I should seek and find Thee, and let my heart’s delight be in Thee, and honor, praise, and magnify Thee. Comfort me again and again with Thy priceless forgiveness in Christ for all of my many sins, my many failure, my many faults. Amen.
“O Savior, precious Savior, whom, yet unseen, we love;
O Name of might and favor, all other names above;
we worship Thee, we bless Thee, to Thee, O Christ, we sing;
we praise Thee and confess Thee, our holy Lord and King.”
(TLH) – Hymn 352, 1