Sunday, July 3, 2005

The Excellence of the Name

O LORD, our Lord
How excellent is Your name in all the earth.
(Psalm 8:1,9)
The Hebrew word for “excellent” means “large, powerful, expansive, famous, mighty, worthy.” The name of the Lord is beyond all boundaries. There is nothing greater than His name. In the modern vernacular, you might say that the name of the Lord is over the top, off the hook, out of the box, through the roof!

The nature of a name is that it reveals or establishes the nature and destiny of a thing. Whenever God reveals Himself by a name, He is telling us what He will be to us, what He will do for us and how He will operate in our lives.

Moses stood before the LORD at the burning bush, where God gave him the assignment of going before Pharaoh to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses objected: “When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13).

God answered and revealed His name: “I AM WHO I AM … Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you” (v. 14). The name of the Lord is a revelation He Himself gives to us.

I AM. The Hebrew word is hayah (the Hebrew letters are hay-yod-hay). It is the word for being, for existence. It is the basis for the name Yahweh (the Hebrew letters are yod-hay-vaw-hay) usually rendered in our English texts as LORD (all caps).

In calling Himself “I AM WHO I AM,” God was describing Himself as self-existent and self-sufficient, not dependent upon anyone or anything for His existence. Because He is self-sufficient, He is therefore all-sufficient for any and every need we could every have. I AM WHO I AM means “I am your all-sufficient God.”

If God had never revealed Himself as the one who meets all our needs, we would never have had reason to trust Him to take care of us. But because God has revealed Himself by this and many other of His names, we have a right to take Him at His word (the self-revelation of His name) and believe Him for everything His name signifies.

Without the revelation of His name, it would be nothing more than presumption for us to look to Him for our deliverance. But because God has revealed Himself to us by His name, we can walk in the confident assurance that He will fulfill His name on our behalf. ~ O Yahweh, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. It goes beyond all boundaries and exceeds all expectations. Make Your name famous in all the earth. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

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