Why is God’s name important? Why did He tell His followers not to misuse it?
You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name.Exodus 20:7
Other translations say the following about misusing God’s name…
You must not…
- Use God’s name in vain.
- Treat it as if it has no significance.
- Speak it idly or use it lightly.
- Use it to make empty promises.
- Use it carelessly or for evil purposes.
- Use it irreverently or in curses or silly banter.
Why does it matter? Why does God care about the way people use His name?
Because God’s name speaks to His character. His name tells us who He is.
- Elohim – strength and power.
- El Roi – the God who sees me.
- El Elyon – God Most High.
- El Shaddai – all-sufficient provider.
- YHWH – I AM who I AM.
He is the One who goes before us, the One who meets our needs, the One who heals us and gives us peace. He is Righteous. He is Triune. He is Savior. He is Comforter and Helper.
God cares about the way we use His name…
Because the way we speak His name represents how we feel about Him. Think about it . . . people are careful with the names of those they love and respect.
David knew the importance of God’s name. He was being chased by those who had turned against him. So, he turned to the Lord in prayer…
God, save me by Your name,Psalm 54:1–2 (CSB)
and vindicate me by Your might!
God, hear my prayer;
listen to the words from my mouth.
David knew he could trust God’s unchanging character. David was confident that God was, is, and always will be God. That means, just like David, you and I can turn to Him whenever we need help.
We can trust Him to be with us and give us strength. We can trust that He will be our provider who is righteous, caring, and compassionate. We can be confident that He is without limits and perfect in every way and certain that He is everything we need now and always.
If we truly believe that He is who He says He is, we will humbly and faithfully go to Him in prayer trusting His almighty power and will.
David declared this about God…
God is my helper!Psalm 54:4
The Lord is the provider for my life.
God is our Helper and Provider. If we truly believe Him and genuinely love Him . . . then we will protect His name and only use it in praise and worship with love and respect.
And join David in saying…
I will offer a sacrifice as a special gift to You.Psalm 54:6–7a (NCV)
I will thank you, Lord, because You are good.
You have saved me from my troubles.
A Prayer to Use God’s Name with Love and Respect
Father, thank you! You allow us to KNOW You personally through Your Word and Spirit. You have given us ways to KNOW Your character and Your heart. You have revealed that You are loving and merciful. You graciously sent Jesus to suffer for our sins. You watch over us and provide for us.
Please forgive me for ever taking Your name lightly. Forgive me for the times I have failed to give it the honor and glory it is due. I’m sorry. Your name is holy. You are the “I AM.” The One who was, who is, and who forever will be. You are the Lord of all . . . Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
What a blessing it is that You invite us to call You by name. You tell us that we can cry out to You when we are suffering from pain or problems. You encourage us to pray with persistence and promise that You hear prayers that come from a humble repentant heart. You promise that You will respond with love and guide us along the best path for our lives.
So, I lift up Your Holy Name. I ask that You will strengthen me to use Your name only for praying, praising, and giving thanks. For You alone are worthy. You are my strong tower and my heart’s desire. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
So, let me ask you one more time…
Why is God’s name important? Why does God care about the way we use His name?
He wants everyone to KNOW the TRUTH about who He is. He wants the world to KNOW of His unfailing love. He wants all everyone to experience His grace and mercy and rest in the care of the Helper, Provider, and Savior.
He wants a close loving relationship with every person He has created.
What wonderful reasons to only use His name for prayer, praise, and giving thanks.
God is good. He is gracious. He is our Loving Father, our Lord and Savior, and our Comforter and Help.
May you be blessed today as you trust that His name is your strong tower and He is Your refuge and strength.
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