Nena Arias | July 22, 2019“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)
The Ten Commandments are the pillars established by God for us to live by. They are not suggestions. They must be strictly adhered to or else there will be consequences that follow. In the case of the Third Commandment, “you shall not the take the name of the Lord your God in vain” is of equal value as all the other Commandments. Yet anymore, it has become fashionable to use profanity using the Lord’s name in vain in public, in the media, in films and people are not being held accountable for this offensive language that assaults the spirit of all who hear it. In no way is it a benign practice that does not bring serious consequences. The biblical text says that God will not leave those who use his name in vain go unpunished.
It is excusable that the use of profanity in private and public has escalated. It has become such commonplace that people are becoming desensitized to it and almost expect it when people want to get a point across with force. However, it still doesn’t change the fact that it is offensive language and shows moral corruption in the individual who uses it. It doesn’t matter who it is. It is especially offensive when the Lord’s name is used in vain and no one should get a pass.
At a campaign rally on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC President Donald Trump delivered a fiery speech in which he used the Lord’s name in vain not once but twice. Some Christians are highly offended and rightfully so. They are calling Trump on it and I am so glad they are. These were terrible choice of words especially on national television and with children clearly in attendance as seen behind him at the rally. But even if it wasn’t on television, there is no place in society anywhere, and at any time where that type of language should be used. We should not stand for it and protest vehemently.
As we read in the above verse in Exodus 20:7, God commands that blaspheming and mocking his name will be severely punished. The Third Commandment also prohibits empty or false oaths where his name is mentioned and you don’t intend to keep that solemn promise, as in the case of a marriage vow and how easily people break those vows. Also, I often think of this when a job or position of high honor or service to the country requires taking an oath and the words “So help me God” are included and then people fail to fulfill that oath as they promised.
I also think of this when religious people give a message, which they say is a prophesy and include, “thus says the Lord” but, did God really say this?
Just think of how bad it is when people slander you and your good name, how much more severe it is to profane and speak ill or say falsehoods implicating God. Disrespecting us is one thing, but irreverent use of God’s name is quite another thing, which is severely punished by God. This is nothing to toy with or take any chances.
Is it any wonder why hearing the use of God’s name in vain is so offensive to hear because his name is holy enough to save people from their sin when it is mentioned: “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). And we are told that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10–11).
The Bible makes sure to tell us not to forget the holiness of the name of God and how we must be in awe of it and never treat it with irreverence. God will not hold us guiltless.