God’s name, whether His personal name Jehovah or Jesus or the name God which designates His being, is holy. Psalm 111:9 states, “. . .holy and reverend is thy name.” Reverend means “worthy of reverence; entitled to respect mingled with fear and affection.” Since God’s name stands for Himself, then it certainly is worthy of reverence even as He Himself is entitled to that respect due to His being our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. If any name is pronounced with fear and affection, it should be His name because it is holy. “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Ps. 103:1).
The third commandment declares, “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Ex. 20:7). Notwithstanding this commandment, people of all ages today use the name of the Lord in a profane way. It is common to hear the exclamation, “O my God” in reference to some trifling matter. Such usage degrades and makes common God’s holy name. Worse yet, one who uses His name in vain reveals a contempt and disdain for God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Certain words and names have been made unspeakable in our society lest particular people in it be offended. Furthermore, one had better not use the name of a specific prophet of a certain religion in a vain way today. But few seem to be concerned that using any form of the Lord’s name in vain offends Him.
One shall not be called to give account before God for using a name men have banned in their society, but he is accountable to God for using His holy name in vain (Matt. 12:36). Perhaps we Christians have been silent too long on this issue. If we were to protest loudly that using His name is offensive to us, it might be that society would decree that His name must not be used in vain any longer, but don’t count on it.
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