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.
God has said “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy” (Leviticus 10:3). “Holy and awesome is His name” (Psalm 111:9). As we approach Him we should do so in reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28). The name of God tells of what and who He is. It speaks of the divine character. Believers take His name upon them when they are identified with Him by profession of their faith in Him. The careless use of divine names and titles betrays a grossly irreverent state of mind, and is itself a grave sin against Him who is Creator of all men and Father of all who believe. We are called to “walk worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:12) because He is our Father and we are His children. Irreverence on the part of those who profess this high and holy calling is most deplorable and is, in effect, to take the name of the Lord our God in vain.
Profanity is an abhorrent vice of which all decent people are ashamed, hence very few men are low enough to curse and swear in the presence of ladies or of persons of superior position and culture. But it is possible to profane the name of the Lord even though foul language is never used. To profess to love God and yet to dishonor Him by a godless and worldly life is to take that holy name in vain just as much as to be guilty of the irreverent use of holy expressions. In all our ways we are called upon to sanctify the Lord and thus to honor His holy name.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our songs shall rise to Thee!
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty—
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 14.