Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Third Commandment of the Law of God.
Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.
The third commandment forbids us to pronounce the name of God in vain, without due reverence. One uses the name of God in vain when one pronounces it in empty conversation, in jest and in sport.
Forbidding the use of God’s name thoughtlessly or disrespectfully, this commandment forbids the sins which come from thoughtlessness and irreverence in regard to God. Among such sins are:
Swearing — thoughtless, habitual oaths in casual conversation;
Blasphemy — audacious words against God;
Sacrilege — when people scoff or jest at sacred things;
Breaking promises given to God;
Perjury (oath breaking);
Making false oaths by the name of God.
The name of God must be pronounced with awe and reverence, in prayer, in studies about God, and in lawful vows and oaths.
Reverent, lawful vows are not forbidden by this commandment. God Himself used an oath about which the Apostle Paul reminisces in his epistle to the Hebrews: For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath (Heb. 6:16-17).