Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Taking God's Name in Vain

Title:  Taking God's Name in Vain

Reading for July 28:  Isaiah 47-49

"For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
    for how should my name be profaned?
    My glory I will not give to another."
Isaiah 48:11

What does it mean to take God's name in vain and why is it such a big deal to God?

To take God's name and use it in a common way is to cheapen it. Instead of treasuring God's name, honoring God's name, praising and revering God's name, we make light of it by just throwing it around in a careless, casual way.

Why is it such a big deal? On the surface of it, it would almost seem to be selfish of God to be so concerned about this. Is God that insecure that he can't handle hearing his name being used in that way?

Just the opposite, the Bible presents God as knowing exactly who he is. The problem is we don't see God as clearly as we should. God wants us to be careful about how we use his name for the same reason he wants us to praise him. (In fact these are two different sides of the same coin.) It is good for us to exalt God in praise because it fills our heats with reverence and respect for God. (And this is good for us!) Likewise, it is bad for us to diminish God's name in any way because this diminishes our thoughts about God. (And that is bad for us!)

Father God, may we only use your name in praise and worship and in thoughtful ways that will magnify you both before others and in our own hearts.