Do Not Profane God’s Name
The Third Commandment
Do not make God’s Name a common thing.
“You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”
Leviticus 24:15, 16
“And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. Whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.”
Here, undoubtedly, is what most people think of when they hear the third commandment—swearing falsely or idly, using God’s Name as an oath or exclamation, or in a vulgar manner.
Such proscriptions are implied in these statutes; however, there is more. We must not “profane” the Lord’s Name by treating it in any way other than with utmost respect for its great holiness. You probably know that, in the Hebrew Bible, the Name of the Lord is considered too holy even to pronounce. The Hebrew spelling of the Name is given vowel points designed to lead the reader to say, “Adonai” rather than “Yahveh” whenever the divine Name is encountered.
Christians, of course, are not bound by such formalities. God is our Father, and we relate to Him as such. He has no qualms about our using His proper Name, nor should we.
We must not make God’s Name a common thing, or curse the Lord, or use His Name to curse others. His is a holy Name, and we have taken it in order to promote the cause of holiness. Anything contrary to that is a violation of the third commandment.
Sign up to receive Crosfigell, our thrice-weekly email devotional, featuring T. M. Moore’s insights to Scripture and the Celtic Christian tradition.
In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Comments are closed for this Article !