The Third commandment

 

 Psalm 9:1-2:

"I will praise You; O Lord with all my heart; I will tell of your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."


This article will be on the third commandment as listed in Exodus.

Exodus 20:7:

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." 

 

In my last article I tried to explain how we, as human beings, are made after the God kind. The Creator is reproducing Himself through us. We are His children, made in His likeness and His image.  He also made mankind into two parts; male and female, and it is when these two parts join that man is able to reproduce themselves. Subsequently, through this act, we are in actuality reproducing future Gods. 

 

I wanted to show that, when we break the second commandment, we are giving credit to another god; one of our own making. These gods are of the creation, because they are made by man, from the things that were created by God.  All things on this earth were created by Him, and when we fashion something out of the creation, whether it be gold or silver or wood, and then in turn use it to worship the Creator, we have done the sin of Satan; we have placed ourselves above Him by saying we created Hm.

 

 There are many today who worship idols and other things of creation, as their god and do not realize it. They make images, little statues of man and beast; they then, bow before them, pray before them, and worship before them.  The excuse used for this behavior is that they are not worshiping the idols; the idols are simply representations of god.  Yet this is the behavior that the Creator spoke against. The ancient Israelites molded and built a golden calf as a representation of their deliverer.  They claimed that it represented the god that delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians.

 

Exodus 32:4-6:

“And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

 

When we bow down before idols, statues, or anything made by the hands of man; we are not just using these things as a representation of god; the Creator says we are worshiping them.  Man makes many excuses for breaking this commandment, but God makes it perfectly clear we are not to bow down before these idols.

 

Exodus 20:5:

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”

 

 When we do this we are giving them credit as our Creator. When we deny the identity of the true God we deny our own true identity; He is our Father. He is the one who led Israel out of physical slavery, and who led spiritual Israel out of the bondage of sin.

 

The first commandment identifies who He is. The second commandment identifies who we are, and where we came from. It is in this context that we must study the third commandment. 

 

Exodus 20:7:

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."

 

To understand this commandment we must first understand the word vain.  There are approximately 15 different Hebrew words translated as the one word "vain".

 

According to the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Hebrew word translated vain in the third commandment is shav; pronounced shawv.

 

It means evil (as destruction), idolatry, uselessness, deceptive, false, lying, lie, vain, vanity.

 

So we may have a better understanding let us look at the same word used in other scriptures.

 

Job 11:11:

"For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not consider it." {King James Version}

 

Psalm 119:113:

"I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love."{King James Version}

 

Psalm 139:20:

"For they speak against you wickedly; Your enemies take your name in vain."

 

So we see that the word translated vain, for our purpose, means wicked. The commandment could read as follows: "You shall not use the name of the Lord your God wickedly. For the Lord will not hold him guiltless who uses the Lord's name wickedly."

 

 The Hebrew word is also translated as futile in the New King James version.

 

Isaiah 1:13:

"Bring no more futile (vain) sacrifices; incense is an abomination to me......."

 

To use the Lord's name in vain is to use it in a wicked or futile way. 

To see an example of this let us look at the ancient Israelites and the incident with the golden calf.

 

After Moses was called up to the top of the mountain, the children of Israel remained below. Moses was upon the mount for forty days and nights. Due to this delay the people believed he was not going to return. They pressed Aaron to build them an idol, a golden calf.  In my last article I wrote that because of this behavior the people had broken the first two commandments.  They claimed that this idol was the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt.

 

Exodus 32:4:

"....This is your god, O Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt."

 

This was the breaking of the first commandment.

 

Exodus 20:2-3:

 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”

 

They then continued.

 

Exodus 32:4:

And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.

 

This was the breaking of the second commandment.

 

Exodus 20:4-5:

 You shall not make for yourself a carved imageany likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me….”

 

They claimed this idol, this thing made of gold and silver, was their god, and then they bowed down and worshipped their idol,

 

Exodus 32:31:

“Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold!’”

 

But pressed in between these two acts was the breaking of the third commandment.

 

Exodus 20:7:

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." 

 

How did they break the third commandment?  

 

Exodus 32:5:

"So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, 'Tomorrow is a feast day of the Lord.' "

 

According to the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible The Hebrew word translated, in this verse, as Lord, is Yahovah, pronounced yeh-ho-vaw.

 

It means self-Existent or Eternal. It is spelled in American English as Jehovah.

 

Strong's reads as follows:

"Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: Jehovah, the Lord."

 

This is also the word that is translated as His name in the Old Testament.

 

Jeremiah 10:16:

"The Portion of Jacob is not like them, for He is the Maker of all things, and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; the Lord of Hosts {Yahovah} is His name."

 

The Lord of Hosts is translated from the word Yahovah {Jehovah}. It is His Name. Aaron proclaimed a feast in the name of the Creator, Yahovah, but they were worshiping an idol, they were calling the name of the golden calf Yahovah.

 

An interesting side note.  Let us look at this scripture once more.

 

Jeremiah 10:16:

"The Portion of Jacob is not like them, for He is the Maker of all things, and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; the Lord of Hosts {Jehovah} is His name."

 

"He is the maker of all things."  He identifies Himself. First commandment.

 

"Israel is the tribe of His inheritance."  He identifies Israel. Second commandment.

 

"The Lord of Hosts is His name." He gives His name. Third commandment.

 

When Aaron proclaimed a feast day to the Lord, he was saying this is a feast day of Yahovah. He was in reality calling the idol the name of the Creator. He was using the name of the Lord "wickedly", and since idols are nothing more than stone or wood, or whatever material they are made out of, calling upon them is futile.

 

Jeremiah 10:8:

"......A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine."

 

1Corinthians 8:4:

".......an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one."

 

Israel took the name of their deliverer and placed it upon a thing of creation, an idol with no power or knowledge. This is using the name of the Lord in vain. They used it in a wicked and futile manner.

 

When Israel was about to enter into the Promised Land it was inhabited by other people. These people had customs that the Creator did not want His people to follow.

 

Leviticus 20:23:

"And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you......."

 

Jeremiah 10:3:

"For the customs of the people are vain." {King James Version}

"For the customs of the people are futile." {New King James Version}

 

He did not want Israel using the religious practices of other people to worship Him. This is the breaking of the first, second, and third commandments. It is easy for us today to look back and see how foolish the Israelites were. Why would they take something that is not God and worship it as if it were.

 


Certainly we would not do that in today's time would we????

 

Jeremiah 10:1-5;

"Do not learn the way of the Gentiles...., for the customs of the people are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest..... They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so it will not topple. They are upright like a palm tree."

 


Does this custom sound familiar? Many "Christians" today follow this practice. A practice that was going on long before the birth of the Messiah, and even when the origin of this practice is revealed many times the response is, "Well I am worshiping God this way, what difference does it make?"

 

As you can plainly see, the Creator says this is wrong. He does not want us to do this. When we invoke the Creators' name on to something that He plainly tells us not to, this is the breaking of the third commandment.  We are using the name of our Lord in vain.  We may try to justify it all we wish but justifications are not commandments.

 

Proverbs 14:12:

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."

 

In that moment the Israelites broke the first three commandments. They denied the Creator. They denied their heritage and inheritance by carving and serving an idol, and they called this idol with the name of the true God.

 

The Commandments are not harsh.

 

Galatians 5:1;
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."

 

1 Peter 2:21:

"For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them."

 

The commandments are not some fly by night rules which we can pick and choose or change at our pleasure. They are the laws of God, which we are commanded to follow. It was because Israel broke these laws that some were not allowed to enter their inheritance, while other were forced out of their land and into slavery. It is only because of the blood and sacrifice of our Savior that we can have the hope, that one day the promise of the "True Kingdom" will be fulfilled.

 

Philippians 2:9-10:

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above, that at the name of Yahoshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth."

 

So until next time my friends please take care.

 Peace