“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.”-Exodus 20:7
The 3rd Word is that we are to NOT take the Lord’s name in vain.
And what is the Lord’s name?
It is the tetragrammaton we know as YHVH.
This is the perfect opportunity to remind everybody of one important and UNDENIABLE fact.
In our Bibles, whenever we see the word “God” or “Lord”, chances are like 99% high that the actual Hebrew word there is YHVH.
Let me put it another way to get my point across in a hopefully more impactful manner.
For every ten times you see the words “God” or “Lord” in the Bible, you can rest assured that more than 9 of those times, the Hebrew word there is YHVH.
It is God’s formal AND personal name being used and it is this very name that we are not to take in vain.
So let’s get down to the real meaning of this 3rd Word of God.
First of all, it is not a prohibition against using swear-words.
So it has nothing to do with using the word “god” in conjunction with words like “d-mn” or “darn”.
Not that I approve of using such vulgarities in our common speech, but that is not the meaning intended here.
What this 3rd Word really means is to NOT invoke the Lord’s Name “YHVH” in a frivolous manner as part of a vow.
When you make a vow using God’s Holy Name, you have no choice but to do what you said you would do regardless of what circumstances may arise.
If you don’t, then you have taken the Lord’s Name in vain.
The Hebrew word usually translated into “in vain” is SHAV.
It indeed means “to take lightly”, “carelessly”, or “frivolously”.
God’s Holy personal Name is to be used with the utmost care and the highest reverence.
To put it in legal terms, if you use the Lord’s Holy Name as surety for a promise you make and you don’t keep your promise, you will be guilty of committing perjury.
That is what this 3rd Word means and Yeshua had an effective solution to ensure this would never happen.
Stay away from making any vows at all.
The problem with making a vow using the Lord’s Name is that you can’t really control the future.
When you make a vow, you may have every honest intention of keeping it but then all of a sudden an unforeseen and difficult situation may suddenly arise rendering you incapable of fulfilling what you said you’d do.
Now you’re in hot water and in serious danger of breaking this 3rd Word of God.
The solution: Just let your NO be NO and your YES be YES and avoid vow-making altogether.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago,
‘Do not break your oath,
but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’
But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all:
either by heaven,
for it is God’s throne;
or by the earth,
for it is his footstool;
or by Jerusalem,
for it is the city of the Great King.
And do not swear by your head, f
or you cannot make even one hair white or black.
All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’;
anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”