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Bible verses about Name of God, Honoring
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 20:7

This commandment requires serious reflection. Like the second, it includes a warning that God will not hold us guiltless. It seems that sometimes God deliberately understates things for subtle emphasis and to ultimately magnify the meaning.

To understand this commandment better, we need to explain four words:

Take, throughout the Old Testament, is translated into English from seventy-four different Hebrew words. This one means "to lift up," "bear," "carry," "use," and "appropriate."

Vain has the sense of "desolating"; "that which lacks reality, purpose, value, or truth." It may also be translated "lying," "false," "worthless," "profane," "foolish," "reproachful," "curse," "blaspheme," or "useless."

Guiltless means "free," "clear," "innocent," "clean," "blameless," "unpunished."

Name means "a mark or sign standing out"; "a word by which a person, place or thing is distinctively known." Its Hebrew root denotes "high," "elevated," "a monument." It indicates majesty or excellence. A name identifies, signifies, and specifies.

This commandment has nothing to do with the proper pronunciation of God's name, which no one knows anyway since it was lost in antiquity. It has nothing to do with superstition or magical uses of a name. Its application is far broader.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Third Commandment (1997)


 

Exodus 20:7

The third commandment deals with God's name, His character, His office, His position as the great sovereign Ruler of the universe: "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; Deuteronomy 5:11). In biblical terms, personal names have a meaning, for they usually describe some aspect of the person's character. So it is with God's name. The Bible reveals Him under different names, each given with a purpose: to set forth some distinct virtue or characteristic of His nature.

In this commandment, the Hebrew word rendered "guiltless" may also be translated "clean." A person is clean or unclean according to how he uses the name of God, whether in truth or in vanity. A person who continually talks about God but denies Him in his daily life is unclean; he is guilty of breaking the law of God, a sinner. If we use God's name in a way that denies the true meaning and character of God, we break the third commandment. As we can easily see, God is greatly concerned about how we use His name.

Martin G. Collins
The Third Commandment


 

Exodus 33:19-20

We cannot be sure what Moses had in mind when he asked to see God's glory. He probably wanted to see God's glorious and radiant brilliance and form. God obliged to some degree, but He gave Moses something more than he expected—in fact, something totally unexpected. As He passed by him, He preached a sermon on His name, the third commandment!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Third Commandment (1997)


 

Exodus 34:5-8

What man or institution has these qualities? In addition, He is the eternal Creator, Healer, Savior, Judge, and the very pinnacle of wisdom, understanding, and grace.

Yet, mankind is so deluded that, without realizing it, many worship their consciences formed by their own earthly experiences. Their consciences are nothing more than an inner voice, a sort of a moral policeman that has taken up residence within. Can it be trusted? Do we trust ours? This is better than nothing, but conscience is easily perverted and often abnormally developed because it is almost entirely dependent upon upbringing and propaganda from this world's media. Since this is Satan's world, there is little chance that a person's conscience will be entirely aligned with God's standards.

Others superimpose on God their conceptions of a human father, but this, too, is woefully inadequate. What if one has no father as part of his life? What if his father was stupid, foolish, tyrannical, or over-indulgent? What kind of positive impression will that leave? Is God merely a grand old man, a head-patting, gray-headed, somewhat doddering person whose mind wanders back to better times, forgetful of what is occurring on the earth and in our lives?

God's name is "I was, I am, I will be." He has lived for eternity, but He is not old; He is every bit as modern as tomorrow. When God came as a man, He showed He did not have a completely placid temperament, a God who would not say, "Boo!" He did not just let sleeping dogs lie. He was not uninspired and uninspiring; Jesus stirred people up so that they said, "No man ever spoke like this Man!" (John 7:46). He challenged and exposed the hypocrisies of the religion of His day and was moved to deep anger by the shameless exploitation taking place at the Temple. He was of such personality that He walked unscathed through hostile crowds. Jesus was meek, but the term indicates that He had the power to use as He willed, restraining it as an act of mercy, wisdom, and love.

Christianity is not for the soft and sentimental. We have a war on our hands, and our God is a powerful warrior—the Lord of Hosts is His name. He is on our side, but He demands our loyalty.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The First Commandment


 

Proverbs 22:1

All members of God's church have inherited a Family name far more valuable than any surname. We have an awesome responsibility to uphold and honor the nobility and dignity of the name of God. The reputation we create for our church, our businesses, or our institutions is the legacy we pass on to our brothers and sisters and our children.

David F. Maas
What's in a Name Anyway?


 

Ecclesiastes 7:1

Why is the day of death better? At birth, a person is largely a blank slate - his reputation is nothing (apart from his connection with Mom and Dad), so his name is little more than a mere label. However, at his death he has built either a good reputation or a bad one.

David F. Maas
What's in a Name Anyway?


 

Matthew 6:9

To hallow God's name means to make it holy or set it apart for holy use, respecting it greatly. We hallow His name by obeying Him in all our conduct. Conversely, prayer without obedience is a form of blasphemy (Matthew 7:21, Mark 7:6-7), as is praise offered to God in the attitude of rebellion against His way. It is vain or vanity—useless and contemptible.

Martin G. Collins
The Third Commandment


 

2 Corinthians 11:2

Jealousy has a well-deserved bad reputation because it is essentially self-centered. However, it has a positive aspect when the affection and passion that it contains are directed at upholding the well-deserved reputation of the one who is loved.

The third commandment bears directly on this subject. It is a command that is easily and carelessly broken unless we are continually conscious of our responsibility to bring honor upon the name of God, which we will do if we love Him. We will be jealous to uphold the reputation of His name.

John W. Ritenbaugh
How to Know We Love Christ


 

1 John 3:1

Christians are in the God Family already—in embryonic form. We are sons of God! When we were baptized "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," we were placed into the Family of God! We are now sons of God—we bear that name, and we had better do everything in our power to uphold it! It is the greatest name in the universe! There is none greater. In a very real sense, our last name is now "God."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace and Law (Part 13)


 

Revelation 3:12

When God resurrects us into His Kingdom, He will give us names to designate our existence, nature, and responsibility in the Kingdom. We are assured of carrying God's own name if we overcome sin. What a tremendous reward to bear His name for all eternity!

Martin G. Collins
The Third Commandment


 

 




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