The third commandment addresses how we communicate our feelings and thoughts about our Creator to others... and how we communicate those things to Him. It warns about our speech, behavior, and attitudes regarding the Father of all life... The 3rd commandment says: show some respect!
This message is part of a 4 part series covering the 1st four commandments. The commandments which outline what it means to love God with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our being.
Exodus 20:7 Exodus 20:7You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
American King James Version×The third commandment addresses how we communicate our feelings and thoughts about our Creator to others... and how we communicate those things to Him. It warns about our speech, behavior, and attitudes regarding the Father of all life... The 3rd commandment says: show some respect!
Respect Definition: to feel admiration for (someone or something) : to regard (someone or something) as being worthy of admiration because of good qualities : to ACT in a way which shows that you are aware of (someone's rights, wishes, etc.)
We easily grasp the need for respect when meeting someone important or powerful... like the Don Corleone, you fear his power to hurt you, so you show respect; or your boss... who has the power to give you a raise or get you fired, so you show respect.
Yet disrespecting the Creator God. He is patient, slow to anger... but the commandment says "He's taking names". If you've been disrespectful to God, turn around, change your ways, move forward... He is happy to put the past in the past. But the day is coming when the allotted time of His patience comes to an end.
Respect is essential for a good relationship. We see this in marriage, business, communities. Expressing respect in ways that others notice and see is necessary. If I say "I respect you" but then ignore you, talk badly about you to others... then you know I don't respect you.
Respect is a way we demonstrate our love for God.What Does “In Vain” Mean?
The 3rd commandment warns against using the Creator's name in a manner that is rude, frivolous, degrading, expressing an attitude of carelessness... disdain... or antagonism. All this is summed in the word vain: which means deceptive, empty, worthless, meaningless.What Is Covered By The Phrase “My Name”?
A name is a set of syllables, pronounced a certain way, used to refer to a person. But a person's name also carries with it the idea of their whole person, their reputation, their character, what they stand for etc.. For example, "that person has slandered my name"... meaning they have attacked your reputation or standing in the community.
Our Creator's name represents His character and what He stands for. Which is every good & perfect thing we could ever hope for… it’s the hope and promise of everlasting life filled with joy, contentment and completeness.Profanity in Speech
Exodus 3:13-15Our Creator tells us His name is YHWH, Yahweh, Yehovah. In English that would be, the I AM, the self existing one etc. This name is also a description, a description of a being that is life itself. English bibles tend to follow the Jewish practice of using a substitute word LORD in place of the name YHWH. In our writing we tend to refer to Him as God (capital G)... these are also descriptive but one step removed from YHWH.
The idea is that we avoid using the proper name YHWH so we don't run the risk of profaning it. However for practical purposes, if you say LORD, or God, everyone knows you are referring to YHWH. Using substitute words does not protect you from violating the spirit of the 3rd commandment.
Using "God" in a phrase like "Oh My God, that was amazing","Good Lord, that was a great martini","thank God the bus was on time", are examples of using the Creator's name, reputation, and character in a way that is frivolous, careless, or overly casual. I have omitted examples that are abusive, or dirty.
You shouldn't say “Oh My God” unless its part of a prayer, or a song of praise. This also applies to euphemisms like gosh, golly, geez. These may seem innocent but unwittingly announce to all who hear that God isn't really special or set apart in your way of thinking.The Importance Of Jesus Christ's Name
Philippians 2:9-11 Philippians 2:9-11  Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
American King James Version×the character of Jesus and all that He stands for is wrapped up in His named and should not be taken in vain either. It is through Jesus Christ that we know the Father Creator. It’s through Jesus Christ that our path to eternal life is opened up. This is important stuff.
Jesus is the Greek rendering of Yeshua/Joshua meaning salvation in English; Christ is a Greek word meaning anointed one in English, the Hebrew equivalent is messiah.
Many people say the name Jesus a lot... but don’t properly represent Him. Many use His name to convey a message that betrays and opposes what He stood for.
Matthew 5:17-19 Matthew 5:17-19  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
 For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version× people use Jesus name to teach against obeying God's commands... at least the commands they disagree with. This is a misuse of His name.
Matthew 15:7-9 Matthew 15:7-9  You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
 This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
American King James Version×People despise the Sabbath but then wallpaper Christ’s name all over idolatrous worship traditions like Saturnalia and pretend they are pleasing to God.
People use God’s name to validate their political ideologies and leaders, people send their young men to war shouting God is with us. In so many ways we use God’s name to justify our own stupid ideas. The misuse of God’s name causes confusion, doubt, disbelief… which is why its a big deal!
In this world, God is evaluated based on the people who claim to act in His name.What About Members of God’s Church?
Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
American King James Version× - this is all encompassing. Anything we do that brings reproach, disrespect, or shame on the name of God or Christ is a violation of the 3rd commandment by misrepresenting the God we claim to serve.
1 Peter 2:9-12 1 Peter 2:9-12  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
American King James Version× While you are yet in the flesh God makes you part of a people. He considers you His representatives in this. You honor God’s name through your example.
That calling to represent God on this earth was originally assigned to the nation of Israel.
Deuteronomy 4:5-7 Deuteronomy 4:5-7  Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it.
 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
 For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call on him for?
American King James Version× Moses wanted their conduct to so honor God that all nations would gain respect for Him... and want to learn more.
The nation of Israel failed this task. Instead they profaned God's name among the nations surrounding them. G God was patient with them... He gave them lots of time... He gave them lots of warning... He was slow to anger... but there came a day when the time was up. They paid a high price.
Ezekiel 36:16-32 Ezekiel 36:16-32  Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelled in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
 Why I poured my fury on them for the blood that they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had polluted it:
 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
 And when they entered to the heathen, where they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.
 But I had pity for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, where they went.
 Therefore say to the house of Israel, thus said the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, where you went.
 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the middle of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, said the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.
 And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine on you.
 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
 Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
 Not for your sakes do I this, said the Lord GOD, be it known to you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
American King James Version×
To profane means (among other things) to treat His name as a common thing. Not special, not holy, not revered, not respected... just common... like a block of cheese... or a brush you use to scrub the toilet... handy, useful when you need it... but nothing special.
At first the nations could say: Israel has these commandments, laws, statutes from their God... but they don't live by them. Such a God must be weak, unable to convince them to obey. Why would I worship weakness?
Or the nations could say: Israel say they stand for justice and fairness but they are no different than us. These "chosen people” a just a bunch of hypocrites.
Then God punished Israel because unrepentant sin must be punished. God is just and He will show Himself just by His acts...
Then the nations would say: Israel has this God YHWH but He allows them to be over-run and enslaved by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians. Their God must either be unable to protect them or doesn't care. It is useless to follow such a God!
So, for the sake of His name on the stage of world history God pledged to restore Israel. Not because they are especially worthy, but for the sake of His reputation… as a demonstration of His character and His purpose. For His name's sake.
Israel was restored during the days of Ezra & Nehemiah. That restoration lasted another 400 years until the coming of the Messiah, and the better way of the new covenant. This restored Israel provided a suitable environment where the Messiah could be born, grow up, and live by the commandments and laws of God (even though the Jews around Him did not necessarily do so themselves). How would Christ have lived a sinless life if He had been born in a villa in pagan Rome?
But, once the Messiah had come and fulfilled His mission... Israel soon ceased to exist as sovereign nation.
However, the true restoration of Israel happens when Christ returns and establishes the rule of God on earth. At that Israel is restored as a model for the surrounding nations Isaiah 2:2-4 Isaiah 2:2-4  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version× (this time it will work, holy spirit, absence of Satan, visible presence of Christ and the resurrected saints etc.). This prophetic fulfillment is also done for the sake of God's name.
Romans 2:21-24 Romans 2:21-24  You therefore which teach another, teach you not yourself? you that preach a man should not steal, do you steal?
 You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? you that abhor idols, do you commit sacrilege?
 You that make your boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonor you God?
 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
American King James Version× Paul says this to his fellow Jews
1 Timothy 6:1 1 Timothy 6:1Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
American King James Version× a message for the servants of God. Your conduct among non-believers reflects upon God’s good name.
2 Corinthians 5:20 2 Corinthians 5:20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God.
American King James Version× you represent the Most High. Any discourteous, disrespectful conduct by you dishonors Him in the eyes of others... rudeness, arrogance, disobedience etc.
One of the biggest reasons people give for turning their back on God is the conduct of people who claim to be His followers. The most common charge made is "Christians are hypocrites". They say one thing and do another. Furthermore, their God does nothing about it. If such a God even exists… how is He worthy of my worship?Jesus Condemns Hypocrisy In God's Name
Matthew 23:27-28 Matthew 23:27-28  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
American King James Version×
Promoting God on one hand, while finding ways to work around obedience on the other. Happy to praise and call out His name as long as they can continue to follow their own way... unwilling to give up their own traditions, and their own lusts.How We Should Honor God
- Avoid using his name foolishly. Whether that means frivolous stuff like saying "oh my God", or using His name as an expression of anger and frustration...
- Don’t connect His name and reputation to promote false teachings like ever burning hell, or Christmas…
- Don’t set a bad example in the eyes of non-believers who know you as a follower and servant of God.
Instead, in all you do or say, hold your Creator in highest regard. Admire and seek out His wisdom, love, fairness. Stand in awe of His power. Always be mindful that your life depends upon Him...both present and future.
Show respect, honor and obedience to Him in the presence of others. Honor Him by loving Him so much that you want to become like Him and accurately represent His character to everyone who sees or knows you.
Show respect to Him in prayer. Give thanks... give praise... express appreciation for what He gives. Tell Him you want to become more like Him. Request the power of the Holy Spirit to help you obey and serve this great purpose.
If that is our attitude we will never knowingly use His name in ways that are rude, frivolous, degrading, carelessness, disdainful, antagonistic, deceptive, empty, worthless, meaningless.Mutual Respect
Our Creator wants more than fine sounding words. He wants a positive healthy relationship with us. As relationship built on a foundation of respect.
I believe God has respect for you as a person. I know He sees all your weaknesses and sins... He doesn't respect that or course... but sins, uncleanness, evil can be dealt with and flushed down the memory hole through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our Creator can see beyond all that and envision what you CAN BE… what you are going to be!
Respect is a facet of the mind of the Creator. His laws, commands and statutes are designed to protect and promote the dignity of humanity and respect their honored place in the creation; the future sons and daughters of God sitting at Christ’s side as He rules the universe.
He loves you, love Him back by showing some respect.