“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
I had always associated taking His name in vain with words – whether profanity or a carelessly tossing around of His name in casual conversation. However, something different is beginning to appear from this verse.
When we speak of taking someone’s name, we think of marriage. Of a woman taking a man’s name. This is an outward acknowledgement of the legal covenant she has entered into. But this covenant involves much more, because after the taking of the name, the identification of the two as now one, there must be a continued investment in the emotional/relational aspect of the commitment. Otherwise she has taken his name in vain because there is no substance to the union. It is a mere outward form. Something that gives her a measure of comfort and security, but provides no real or lasting joy for either. This is not commitment, it is convenience.
This indeed is a danger we must be aware of. We who are believers have taken the name of Christ. We have identified ourselves with Him and as His. But this becomes empty and worthless if there is not a cherishing of His Person, a delight in His Presence and a longing to know Him even as we are known. A daily communion is needed and should be desired.
Lord, please do no ever let me get to the point that I have taken your name in vain, merely as a convenience, a balm to soothe my conscience. But may my heart be fully engaged in a lifelong pursuit of ever deepening fellowship with You.