DVP036 Exodus 20:7 (February 5)

"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.

This is the third of the commandments: God tells Israel not to take his name in vain - but what does that mean?

Here are a few examples:
  1. Taking a deceptive or false oath in the name of God, e.g. lying under oath in court 
  2. Using God's name as a swear word or a curse/exclamation, e.g. oh my G-d!
  3. Using the name of God without proper consideration for his glory and the honour which he deserves from us, e.g. casually talking about God as your friend without realising the proper authority in the relationship, i.e. that God has it all and we have authority only where he gives it to us.
  4. Misrepresenting God, e.g. by saying he is something which he is not such as claiming that Jesus wasn't God or claiming that God didn't really say something which he did say.
In general, taking the name of God in vain is when we use his name without consideration of his person, presence, and power (according the the ESV Study Bible). This doesn't have to be his actual revealed name, Jehovah, but is any name or title which we identify him by, e.g. God, Lord, Jesus Christ.

The English Standard Version (ESV)

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”