Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Leviticus 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

Psalm 111:9b Holy and reverend is his name.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Deuteronomy 28:58b That thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;

Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.

Psalm 8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Jeremiah 10:6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

Psalm 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.


MEMORY VERSE: Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. —Revelations 15:4
CENTRAL THOUGHT: Before we begin to ask God for anything, we should pause and reverence, worship and praise the high and holy name of our Heavenly Father. We should live to honor and magnify that great name in thought, word and action.



Matthew 6:9, “Hallowed” a thing separated from earthly purposes and employments; set apart; consecrated. “The Divine Majesty may be said to be sanctified by us, when we separate Him from, and in our conceptions and desires exalt Him above, earth and all things (Clarke’s Commentary).”

Exodus 20:7, “Take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”: Take up, or use, to no good purpose, or for emptiness. “Guiltless”: unpunished.

Leviticus 19:12, “Profane”: defile; pollute; desecrate.

Psalm 111:9b, “Reverend”: to inspire reverence, godly fear, and awe.

Psalm 8:9, “Excellent”: majestic.



Let us consider “His name” and what it means. The original Hebrew word, Elohim (a plural form which implies a plurality of Persons in the Divine nature, giving us the basis of the doctrine of the Trinity) is used over 2,500 times in the Old Testament. The Anglo-Saxon rendering, God, signified the Divine Being, and being related to the word, good, also the Good Being.

The English rendering of the Hebrew tetragram YHWH, Jehovah, is one of the names of God. Its original pronunciation is unknown, but it is certain that it was in use before the days of Abraham (Jehovah Elohim, Gen. 2:4 and Adonai Jehovah, Gen. 15:2). Around 300 B. C. the Jews, who took the third commandment very seriously, to keep from speaking it carelessly, decided not to pronounce it at all, but spoke the word adhonai which means “Lord.” Jehovah is derived from the verb “to be,” which implies that God is eternal, the Absolute, the “Uncaused One”.

There are ten combinations of the word Jehovah in the Old Testament: Jehovah-Jireh (Jehovah will provide, Gen. 22:14); Jehovah-Ropheka (Jehovah that healeth thee, Ex. 15:26); Jehovah-Nissi (Jehovah is my banner, Ex. 17:15); Jehovah-meqaddeshkem (Jehovah who sanctifieth you, Ex. 31:13); Jehovah Shalom (Jehovah is peace, Judg. 6:24); Jehovah tsabaoth (Jehovah of hosts, I Sam. 1:3); Jehovah Elyon (Jehovah Most High, Psa. 7:17); Jehovah-roi (Jehovah, my Shepherd, Psa. 23:1); Jehovah-tsidkenu (Jehovah is our righteousness, Jer. 33:16); and Jehovah-Shammah (Jehovah is there, Ez. 48:35).

Adam Clarke, after his study of the Hebrew root, concluded: “God is the sole object of adoration . . . the perfections of His nature are such as must astonish all those who piously contemplate them, and fill with horror all who would dare to give His glory to another, or break His commandments . . . consequently He should be worshipped with reverence and religious fear; and every sincere worshipper may expect from Him help in all his weaknesses, trials, difficulties, temptations, etc.; freedom from the power, guilt, nature, and consequences of sin; and to be supported, defended, and saved to the uttermost.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


1. Taking God’s Name in Vain: Discuss how these may apply: formal, ritualistic prayers, hypocritical profession of salvation, irreverent use of God’s name or attributes in slang or profanity, “praise and worship” done for entertainment or show.

2. For God Only: What popular title is prefixed to many ministers’ names, which should be only given to God? Which Scriptural principle does this violate?

3. Preparing the Heart: How does bringing the heart and mind into an attitude of reverence and praise to His name prepare us for presenting our requests to God?

4. Practical Application: In what ways should we hallow God’s name in our words, thoughts, lives, families, or businesses?




As we consider what Jesus is teaching here, we become greatly aware of the world’s general slide away from this important principle.

In general worship services, professors of Christianity have either embraced a ritualistic, formal worship, with chanted, read, or repetitious prayers; or become so casual that the whole service is like a party, where sacred things are taken lightly, holiness is ridiculed, and entertainment and motivational speaking take the place of reverence for and attention to the Word of God.

In daily lives, the language of even professed Christians has become very loose, with profanity, swearing, or slang, and using God’s name, attributes of God, or other sacred things in exclamations of anger, horror, surprise or jest.

Beginning every prayer with this solemn consciousness of the sacredness of God’s name will powerfully influence the whole of our lives, keeping us free from the corruption of the world around us.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




“For the LORD will not hold him guiltless who taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7b). While touring a cemetery in a certain village in Russia in October of 2012, I came upon the graves of a young couple whose pictures were on their tombstones. The story that was told to me regarding the circumstances surrounding their death made a deep impression on me. I was told that they were working in a hayfield when a cloud came up and it began to rain, hampering their efforts. One, or perhaps both, became angry and cursed God for sending the rain. A bolt of lightning came out of the cloud and struck and killed them both.

Not all who take God’s name in vain receive such an immediate and dramatic response of His wrath and judgment. But Jesus warned us in Matthew 12:36-37, “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

Psalm 33:8 says, “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.”

“We fear Thee, Lord, revere Thy Word, And sit in holy awe.”

(By B. E. Warren, “Truth In Song”, 1907.)

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell