Ten Commandments – Exodus 20

Rather than comment on each of the ten commandments, I asked the Lord which ones I particularly needed to focus on. It seemed pretty obvious as I read through. I was compelled to study the third commandment:

7 “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.”

Growing up, I understood this to mean that I was to never curse using the name of “God” or “Jesus.” I heard it all around me, even from Christians. I heard substitute words like “gosh” or “jeez” but wondered what the difference was. I knew there had to be more to this “taking His name in vain.”

One of the definitions of the word vanity (on dictionary.com) says this: Lack of usefulness, worth, or effect; worthlessness. I’ve come to understand “taking His name in vain” as something having more to do with what’s in our heart just as much as what comes out of our mouths. Do we call ourselves Christians, but not live up to that profession? Do we make promises to God, but not carry through? The other commandment that I felt I needed to hear again this morning is the fourth:

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Somehow, I’ve got to get back to this practice – not for “religiosity” but for my health and to focus on God. My weekly schedule can easily rob me of this day with the Lord if I let it.

Thank You, Lord, for these reminders today. I want to take my responsibilities as a godly man seriously. I never want to cause others to think You are worthless to me. I do not want to serve You in vain. And, I want to honor You by keeping the Sabbath holy. You are worthy, Lord!


  1. #1 by Donny Prater on April 26, 2006 - 8:29 am

    E, I have worked really hard to replace “oh my gosh” with “oh my goodness”. It was hard at first but now I seemed to have internalized it. Now I’m breaking my three year old of it too. Great post!

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