Why do you think God would be so adamant about us not using His name in vain? His name is His character and it’s who He is!
For instance: You know the name of people who have a bad reputation, and you might have a not-so-nice nick name for them. It’s not their name, it refers to their behavior and character.
Even the Lord’s prayer starts with Hollowed be they name – holy, separate. His name is separate from every other name.
God’s name in the Old Testament almost 7,000 times is “Yahweh means He who caused existence. “I Am” – I will be, I’m the One that’s always existed.
The reason the Jewish people went into exile, is because they profaned His name. So, Jewish people stopped pronouncing, saying it, out loud around 600 B.C. It wasn’t the way they said His name out loud that profaned it. It was the way they were living. They had the name of God on them, but they were worshiping idols. Others could not tell the difference between the people of God and those who didn’t know Him.
One of the ways you profane the name of God in our society today is, “You call yourself Christ like, Christian, and you don’t live Christ like.
Ezekiel 36:20 – “When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’ ”
Ezekiel 36:21-23 – “But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. (Verse 22) Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. (Verse 23) And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.” (Do you remember why Moses didn’t get to go into the Promise Land? God told it was because he did not Hallow His name in front of the people.)
When the Jewish people went into these other nations, the people had names for their idols. When they worshiped them, they called on the name of that idol. God told them, “My name is not a magical incantation when you pray!” They were not to use God’s name like the pagans used the name of their gods. If we pray selfishly, it’s using His name in a vain way – profane. So how do we pray the right way without profaning His name? We pray for His will for our lives and others. Then we know for sure He hears us and it’s right.
Another way we could use His name in a vain way is prophecy. This is when we say, “Thus says the Lord,” and the Lord has not spoken. Saying that, “The Lord told me…, and He hasn’t said no such thing is just as bad.
The name of God is not to be taken casually or without thought. God says those who profane His name will not be held guiltless.
Have we all done this? Yes. But what did Jesus do for us in our place? He took the punishment we so rightly deserved because we have all broken every commandment that was written. That’s why we need His Grace! So we all need to be very careful how we use God’s name. It is a precious name and above every other name!