At the heart of commandment three (Exodus 20:7) is God’s call for Israel to carry his name well into the world. God first introduces this concept to them in Exodus 19 when he elevates their status from Egyptian slaves to a “kingdom of priests.” Priests mediated on behalf of the divine by standing in the gap between God and people. They were authorized to act on God’s behalf, served as God’s hands and feet, and were to be the best representation to the world of what God is like. This was their God-given purpose—which had no room for misusing the name of God.
Peter declares the same purpose to Christians: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2.9). Through Christ’s death on the cross, God has elevated our status from “slaves to sin” to be a “holy priesthood” that stands in the gap between God and non-believers.
This “priesthood” concept may be new to you. But God has authorized us to represent him to the world. Command three of the 10 is critical to our purpose. That Jesus would tie his reputation to the way we behave and speak God’s name is unavoidably important. In your Chair time today, thank God for this incredible honor and ask him to make you mindful of how you use his name and represent him to others.