Now, if you’re like me you were told what that commandment meant was that God’s Name was not to be spoken in a careless way, or to be used as a swear word or as a curse. But for my whole believing life that never quite sounded right to me. I felt like there was more to it than that. And whenever I would apply the commandment that way, I didn’t feel the Holy Spirit witnessing to it. It was just a few months ago that the Lord dropped this revelation on me (and I keep calling it that, because that is how it felt) about what the word “take” means in this verse. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” He showed me that when a woman marries a man she “TAKES” his name. Her husband gives her his name and it speaks of their unity and the covenant between them. Mark Cohen marries Rachel Sheldon and she becomes Mrs. Rachel Cohen. When people see that’s her name, they know she is in partnership and covenant with Mark. But if she were to start running around paying more attention to other men than to her own husband; if she dishonored him by acting like they weren’t even married; if she rebelled against him, ran away from him and refused to listen to him it would seem she had taken Mark’s name “IN VAIN”. She would no longer be honoring him, his name or the covenant between them. That is what the Lord was warning the Israelites (and us) against. That if we are going to claim to belong to Him, then our walk and our lives should reflect our commitment to Him and our love for Him.
Now I had to look up that word “take” in the Hebrew to find out if what I was hearing was accurate and truly from the Lord. Imagine my excitement to find that the word translated as “take” in Exodus 20:7 is the Hebrew word תִשָּׂ֛א (tis-sa) which means “to lift, carry, take”. So it can be translated as “You shall not CARRY the name of the Lord your God in vain.” That makes sense since the Lord said He would put His name on the children of Israel. And what He puts on people they then “carry”.
We see this in Numbers 6:22-27 when God gives the Aaronic blessing to Aaron the high priest and his sons and states that when the people are blessed in this way the priests will be putting His Name on the children of Israel: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” (NKJ)
The covenant that took place at Mount Sinai between God and His people is often looked at by the Rabbis as a marriage covenant. As we read in Exodus 19:3-8: And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” (NKJ)
This was the “I do” of the marriage covenant between God and Israel.
This concept of a marriage covenant between God and Israel is confirmed in later prophetic books where God refers to Israel as His bride. In Hosea 2:16 & 17, God speaks of restoring Israel to Himself and part of that restoration is they would no longer be known by the names of the Baals: “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’and no longer call Me ‘My Master,’17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more.” (NKJ)
It's clear from this passage that God wants Israel to call Him her Husband and wants her to be remembered by His Name and no other's.As New Covenant believers we have taken the name of Yeshua because we are His bride. We are told to heal people, make requests of the Father, receive little children, rebuke the enemy and touch the world “in His Name”. I do not want to carry that name in vain! I want to represent Him, His power, His authority, the love with which He loves me and the covenant He has made with me through His blood. I want to carry His Name in a way that honors the One whose name I have been given!
Since the Lord gave me light on this I have seen one Messianic magazine article and one Facebook post that expressed this same interpretation of the third commandment. So I know the Holy Spirit is making this known to His people right now. And I want to join Him in making it known by sharing it here. It so blessed my heart and gave me such a determination to carry His Name in the Spirit and love it was given to me…and not in vain.
Til next time,