This is the third commandment of the ten commandments. In the previous post, we looked at the first two, which talk about other gods, idolatry and graven images.
These commandments were given to Moses by God after the exodus out of Egypt, among many other laws.
It is important to note that we no longer live under the law but under grace. The grace we have received from God through Jesus Christ which is eternal life for them that receive Him, and even to them that believe on His Name.
However, this does not mean that because we live under the period of grace, that the law becomes null and void. Jesus said,
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
As man was unable to keep the commandments, Jesus came to keep and fulfill them all, because all have fallen short of God’s glory; but through Him, the righteousness of God was imputed unto us, not by deeds or dead works but by grace.
The law therefore will never pass away, but recognizing that we are unable to keep it, we are covered by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
The Third Commandment
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.
This simply means to have irreverence of the Name of God and the things of God.
Blasphemy under the law was punishable by death.
And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the Name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
How God’s Name in this day and age is used as a type of laughter, jesting and profanity, in the Jewish law, it was a capital offence; and hence was the Name of the Lord highly revered. In fact, it is believed the Israelites whispered God’s Name in hushed tones or did not mention It entirely while reading the torah or the prophetic books in the synagogues. YHWH, being the Hebraic name revealed to Moses as God’s Name. Noting there was no use of a single vowel, therefore His Name could not even be pronounced.
In our current day, the grace of God has surely been amazing, for, think of the many people who blaspheme the Name of God everyday without a care. And in as much as we are no longer bound by the chains of worrying about whether we have kept the laws of God, we owe God His due honor, even trembling at His Word, having a true reverential fear of His Name and of His work.
Now, according to the words of Jesus, there is only one unpardonable sin, and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The context in which Jesus brought out this scripture, occured when the Pharisees accused Him of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said to them,
25 Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Paul while speaking to the Philippian church, addressed those who preached Christ out of vain glory.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
God still uses even those who preach Christ out of pretence to accomplish His divine purpose. Therefore, it is important to note not to cast stones at other people’s ministries despite their faults or flaws, terming them as though they are from the devil, but speaking against their fallacious doctrines with authority and with love.
Being unfaithful servants
These fall under people who confess that Jesus Christ is their Saviour and Lord, but act contrary to His teachings. This is also taking God’s name in vain.
James said in His epistle, (chapter 2)
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Many people believe in Jesus Christ, but many live contrary to His teachings. James said, faith without works is dead. For one cannot claim to have faith in Jesus but has works proclaiming the world. And Jesus said, by their fruits shall ye know them.
Therefore, taking God’s Name in vain, is as well claiming to be a Christian, but in reality acting like the world, speaking like the world and chasing after the things of the world.
The writer of Hebrews said, (chapter2)
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses‘ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
Under the law of Moses, there was no mercy, but now under grace, God’s mercies flow like a river that never dries up because Jesus Christ paid the price. However, the period of grace is soon coming to an end, as the Lord once said in the days of Noah, my spirit shall not always strive with man.
Seeing therefore, that redemption has come upon the earth by the most precious and priceless treasure of God, the Holy blood of our creator, how then, can we continue sinning willfully? Taking His holy Name in vain?
God is holy and all of His ways are holy, and though we live under grace, it would be a fearful thing to trample underfoot His grace. For if we lived under the law, then a great multitude would have now been stoned to death.
May the Lord forgive us for the sins we have committed in ignorance and may He grant us the wisdom to have a reverential fear towards Him and all His works.
Wishing you all my readers a blessed week ahead as the Lord keeps you in His everlasting peace, seeking after the Kingdom of God with a zealous heart and seeking to please God rather than man.