Names mean something. Parents thoughtfully name their children and your name may be representative of your character. Likewise, God is serious about his name and how it’s used. It represents his character, intentions and the very essence of his being. Commandment three says not to abuse his name.
The way you use God’s name shows how you feel about him and how you see yourself relative to him. Last weekend, visiting Pastor Brad Gray emphasized that God’s people are called to carry well the name of God into the world. How we use his name matters.
Sadly, our culture has dulled the importance of God’s name. He’s much more than “the man upstairs,” or “the big guy.” The depth of his character carries a dignity and warning that precedes cursing and making oaths with his name. He’s God Almighty—limitless, vastly aware and more powerful than we can imagine or think (Isaiah 40.18-31). Not taking that seriously is a huge mistake. It should bother us when his name or anything representing him (heaven, Jesus, creation) is verbally misused.
It’s an amazing miracle that such a God allows us to represent him. But as Jesus followers, we are his royal priesthood (1 Peter 2.9) and his ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5.20). Memorize commandment three this week, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Over the summer we’ll memorize all 10 together. May his word remind you not to misuse his name.