Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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B. W.
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Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#1

Post by B. W. » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:06 pm

What does it mean to take the name of the LORD God in vain?

We find this mentioned in Exodus 20:7...

Exodus 20:7, "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." NKJV

Do you think this means more than just placing a swear word before or after the Lord's name?

Look at how one of the poorest Bible translations (Good News Bible) renders this verse:

Exodus 20:7, "Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the LORD your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name." GNB

Sometimes the poorest translations can get the concept right...yet still miss the deeper impact of what the Lord had Moses to write.

So here are a few more questions:

Can religious doctrine be guilty of taking His Name in Vain?

Can people use His name for evil purposes?

Do you think this is a serious charge to be found guilty of?


I'll be looking into this subject more deeply in the up coming days as I'll be sharing this at the Foundations class I teach so any further insights and comments will be helpful in developing deepr study of the tte Bible!
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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Post by Seraph » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:38 pm

I personally think it means to refer to God carelessly for whatever reason even though you don't actually have God on your mind. Sadly I do this somewhat often when I say "Oh my God" or "Good Lord".

Though, I have heard it argued that when it says that you shall not take the LORDs name in vain, it is literally referring to the name LORD, or rather what it's translated from, YHWH. Wasn't this commandment largely why the name was often substituted with Elohim and El Shaddai?
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#3

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:40 am

The OT shields what the NT reveals. Jesus addresses issues along these lines in Matt 5:34-37

Taking God's name in vain is broader that just the words we use. It applies to our view of God and how we live out that view. It's far more than wincing when non-Christians (oe even christians) let fly with a swear word in the workplace, which is how I understood it growing up and how it seemed to be preached at that time. It has to do with our entire attitude and internal posture toward God. It's more than just reverance and respect (although it includes that.) Jesus revealed further through Him that God wants to call us friends and bring us into relationship (a relationship that I believe is modeled in part by the relationship within God between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.) When we hold God is high esteem and are in right relationship with him, our words, actions and posture toward Him in the context of loving relationship will not have to worry about breaking this command. God doesn't want us living in fear or motivated by guilt and shame by what we can or cannnot do. He wants us to walk in freedom and love and by that the fruits that please God come out and we're motivated by who we love and delighted to show it.
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#4

Post by B. W. » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:35 am

I agree with what Seraph and Canuckster said. Now notice what these verses tell us:

Mal 2:2, "If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name," Says the LORD of hosts, "I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart."

Deut 32:3, 4 - "For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. 4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Psalms 102:21, "To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem..."

Isaiah 12:4, "And in that day you will say: "Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted."

Isaiah 26:13, "O LORD our God, masters besides You Have had dominion over us; But by You only we make mention of Your name."

Isaiah 48:1, "Hear this, O house of Jacob, Who are called by the name of Israel, And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; Who swear by the name of the LORD, And make mention of the God of Israel, But not in truth or in righteousness..."

Micah 4:5, "For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever."

John 17:26, "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."


These verses tell us that we are to speak, proclaim, declare, call, mention the Lord's name! Therefore, God wants us to declare / proclaim His name! The Rabbinic tradition that has been passed on, defines the Exodus 20 injunction as not to utter His name so no one can defile it, yet, the bible tells the priest and those who know the Lord to do the opposite, declare and proclaim the Lord's name!!!

In fact, in Malachi, the Lord revealed that the priest were not doing this but were instead defiling his name.

Malachi 1:6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is my reverence? Says the LORD of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, 'In what way have we despised Your name?"

Notice the ways the name was brought into disrepute in the above verse…Next look at what the Lord says…

Malachi 2:2, "If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name," Says the LORD of hosts, "I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart."

Then look at Malachi 1:6-11 again at other ways His name was disgraced and then notice verse 13...

Malachi 1:6, "A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, 'In what way have we despised Your name?'
Malachi 1:7, "You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, 'In what way have we defiled You?' By saying, 'The table of the LORD is contemptible."
Malachi 1:8, And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 1:9, "But now entreat God's favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 1:10, "Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you," Says the LORD of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
Malachi 1:11, "For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the LORD of hosts."


Question - how were they defiling/disgracing his name and what would some applications of this in today’s modern world?

How do and could people today defile - taking the name of the Lord in Vain - make it a ruinous heap - bring it into disrepute - drag it through the mud - manipulate his name – bring disgrace to His name?

Now look at the promise for those that do not do this:

Malachi 3:16, 17, 18c, "Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. 17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him." 18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him."

From this, what is the cure to keep one from taking - lifting up - the Lord's name for wasteful/ disgraceful/ harmful/ruinous purposes?

All bible verses from the NKJV
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#5

Post by Sudsy » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:33 pm

Can religious doctrine be guilty of taking His Name in Vain?
Perhaps and who can say they are perfect in religious doctrine ?
Can people use His name for evil purposes?
Yes, as I believe Jesus refers to those who do this and He says He never knew them.
Do you think this is a serious charge to be found guilty of?
Yes but then again God has forgiven me all my sins - past, present and future. I do not not intend to take God's name in vain but I also am not perfect and likely do and will in some way. Thank God that through Christ I am declared righteous inspite of my failings. I believe the Holy Spirit lives within us to guide us where we are failing to bring God and His Name glory.

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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#6

Post by jlay » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:18 am

I think most people have reduced this down to saying GD. Which isn't God's name btw.

But, as BW says, I don't think this is at the heart of this law. In fact Suds makes a great point. Many will say to me on that day...

Today we see this. All kinds of shenanigans on TV with preaches saying, "the Lord showed me... The Lord told me...."
Well, somebody is defiling the name of the Lord in doing so. Or, when these folks get on TV and do all this crazy stuff, and then attach, "In Jesus' name."
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#7

Post by mandelduke » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:41 pm


Yes but then again God has forgiven me all my sins - past, present and future. I do not not intend to take God's name in vain but I also am not perfect and likely do and will in some way. Thank God that through Christ I am declared righteous inspite of my failings. I believe the Holy Spirit lives within us to guide us where we are failing to bring God and His Name glory.
:amen:

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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#8

Post by B. W. » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:09 pm

mandelduke wrote:

Yes but then again God has forgiven me all my sins - past, present and future. I do not not intend to take God's name in vain but I also am not perfect and likely do and will in some way. Thank God that through Christ I am declared righteous inspite of my failings. I believe the Holy Spirit lives within us to guide us where we are failing to bring God and His Name glory.
:amen:
That's the cure!

But what of other examples of taking the Lord's name in vain?
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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Post by angelmyst » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:12 am

When you 'take someones name" as in marriage vows, you become forever associated with that person. Taking God's name in vain covers a wide spectrum, from the moment you"accept" Christ. You take His name as a Christian, you become part of His body, a little Christ. if you take His name, you have his reputation to live up to. It is way more that a verbal misuse of the words, Jesus, God, Christ, Holy..or any other form of His name. It is a lifestyle, how to chose to live. If you carry His name as a Christian, you do not want to do so in vain, or without purpose.The purpose He intended, was to be a light in this dark world..to be fishers of men, to be conformed to His image, to bring honor to the Father. So in essence, anything we do, as professing Christians, that does not bring honor to His name, is taking His name in vain.This is where a close walk with Him is so important, we need to be sensitive to The Holy Spirit, and know if we are honoring Our Father. We fail, we mess up, we are in the flesh.Thankfully...If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive....

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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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Post by B. W. » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:33 am

angelmyst wrote:When you 'take someones name" as in marriage vows, you become forever associated with that person. Taking God's name in vain covers a wide spectrum, from the moment you"accept" Christ. You take His name as a Christian, you become part of His body, a little Christ. if you take His name, you have his reputation to live up to. It is way more that a verbal misuse of the words, Jesus, God, Christ, Holy..or any other form of His name. It is a lifestyle, how to chose to live. If you carry His name as a Christian, you do not want to do so in vain, or without purpose.The purpose He intended, was to be a light in this dark world..to be fishers of men, to be conformed to His image, to bring honor to the Father. So in essence, anything we do, as professing Christians, that does not bring honor to His name, is taking His name in vain.This is where a close walk with Him is so important, we need to be sensitive to The Holy Spirit, and know if we are honoring Our Father. We fail, we mess up, we are in the flesh.Thankfully...If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive....
Excellent point!

Praise God for His cure are we would be toast!
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

#11

Post by B. W. » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:22 am

Last week, I taught on this subject and used much of what everyone shared so far on this matter, so I thank you all for being part of helping with the message.

It is amazing how people justify taking the Lord's name in vain and not realize it. The cure is simple as Galatians 3:13, 21, 22, 24 expresses.

If there is anything else you all would like to share on this subject, please do!
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:51 am

I think that when we swear by God or Christ and break that promise, we take their name in vain.
When we claim to be Christians or believers and go against what Christ taught, we take their name in vain.
To the Jew and to the first Christians, a name meant more than the letters that made up the name, it was all that the name stood for.
When Christ prayed that Our Father's name be sanctified or hallowed, He didn't mean the personal name or the letters or sound of that name, but all that Our Father stood for and was representative of.
In short I agree with others when they say that it goes far beyond just the "name" of God.

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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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Post by DannyM » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:22 am

I believe it is fine to say "Oh my God" or "Jesus Christ" in response to some shocking news or incident. They are not substitutes for swear words. It is the equivalent of mouthing "Heavens above" when greeted with such a situation.

When, as sacramento says, we start swearing by the Lord to prove a point I believe we move into blasphemous territory. I guess if you swear by the Lord and there is no way you your point can be refuted, then you are okay. But to swear by the Lord when it is a lie or if there is a chance you can be proved wrong, then we are on dodgy ground. I'm sure I did this as a kid. I wouldn't dare do this now. To do this is to disrespect God.
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Re: Taking the name of the LORD God in vain

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Post by B. W. » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:47 am

These are great points you all made!
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