“We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near…” vs. 1
What’s In A Name
A young woman went to a job interview. Shen enters the interview area and a man begins conducting the interview. He notices here name so he asks the young woman about it. ”Did your parents name you after the flower?” She replied, “Yes.” The boss asked if it was family name or exactly how her parents named her. She told him this wonderful story about it. “My parents were bringing me home from the hospital but I was not yet named. As they were bringing me from the car to the house a lily literally fell on me from the sky and landed right on my blanket.” The interviewer replied that it was beautiful story. Well, the next guy comes into the interviewer and sits down. He’s not a good looking man. The interviewer asks, “So, What’s your name?” He gave a crooked smile and said, “Piano.”
Read Passage – Psalm 75
1 We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 You say, “I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.[b]
4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.[c]
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven;
do not speak so defiantly.’”
6 No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup
full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
drink it down to its very dregs.
9 As for me, I will declare this forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”
The Misuse of God’s Name
Unfortunately, We live in a society where God’s name is not sacred and not used properly. You might be able to make a case that most time when you hear the name of God that its’s not being used in an honoring way to God. Some people use it as a filler in sentences and many use the name of God without ever really knowing what they are saying or that they are saying it. It’s even made it into our texting language and TV shows. OMG is not only a common text acronym but there is a TV show with that name as well. JC is in the texting language often. We need to be concerned about this. God takes his name seriously; look at what he said in Exodus 20:7:
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Exodus 20:7
He doesn’t want his name misused’ so yuch so that he included it as one of the 10 Commandments.
Many Names, Same God
Names are important to us. I want people to get my name right, don’t you? Not only are they important to us, they often help identify an individual and they can actually reveal who a person is, and what their personality is like. God goes by many different names in the Bible. One commentator has counted over 63 found in Scripture. Another I read said that the total is 72. That seems like a lot but God is so awesome that the number of names we could use to describe Him is as endless as He is. In English we only have one or two names for God like God or Lord but in the Hebrew language there are multiple names for God but they are all translated “god” in our Bible. Here are a few as an example.
Ex. God the Creator (Elohim)
God the Lord (Adonai)
God our Peace (Jehovah Shalom)
God our Provider (Jehovah Jireh)
God the Covenant Keeper (Yahweh)
God the Almighty (El Shaddai)
The God Who is There (Jehovah Shammah)
God the Healer (Jehvoah Rapha)
God of Power (Jehovah Sabaoth)
God is my Banner (Jehovah Nissi)
So you might be thinking, “Why is this so important? So what?” Let’s approach this from God’s word itself and see why this is so important in our lives.
Our Proper Use of God’s Name
I think we have the opportunity to change our world. We can show the world that using the name of God is not just an empty word, just a sentience filler, and that it really carries a lot of meaning. The Israel nation of the Old Testament was called to be the nation that preserve the name of God. If every other nation in the world fell away, they were to stop following God, they had the charge to uphold God and his name, to let the world know who God is. We in the New Testament era, have that same charge. We don’t have to but we get to let the world know and hear the great name of God. Verse 1 tells us that:
“We thank you, God, we thank you—your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about..” vs. 1
Notice it says people. We are God’s people. Let me put this verse in perspective by giving you this verse in a different way; it comes from The Message. It translate this verse this way:
“We thank you God, we thank you, your name is our favorite word.”
Now that is cool. We can make God our favorite word. A quick reminder, the people of the Old Testament were not allowed to say the proper name of God. We can and get to. So here are some way you and I can use God’s name every day in a good way; and all the ways are mentioned in the Bible. Here they are.
First, we love the name of God because it is a response to all he has done for us. Psalm 119:132:
“Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.”
There are many things in life that we can love; we love people, we love food, we love things like sports, music, etc. but one of the best things we can do is love His name. the older I get, the more I love the name of God.
Ex. Song we sing on Sundays At Your Name by Phil Wickham
At Your Name, the mountains shake and crumble
At Your Name, the oceans roar and tumble
At Your Name, angels will bow, the earth will rejoice
Your people cry out
Lord of all the earth
We shout Your Name, shout Your Name
Filling up the skies
With endless praise, endless praise
We love to shout Your Name, Oh Lord
An second important aspect is to trust in the name of God. We hear the prophet Isaiah tell us this in Isaiah 50:10:
“Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” Isaiah 50:10
One of the best responses you can make to God is to decide to trust Him completely with your life. Many times life doesn’t turn out the way we expect. We go through ups and downs and at times we feel confused and bewildered. We might feel like we are walking around in the dark and need a place to turn. Here is a great promise; we can trust in God’s name. His name has power. His name brings an inner strength. His name can light our way. That is the point that Isaiah is making.
Ex. Your struggling and feel down. You need inner strength. Call on God’s name, maybe even in the quietness of your heart.
Third, we are to call on the name of the Lord. The name of God brings healing and salvation. Acts 2:21:
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:21
God wants us to use His name as we call out to Him. One of the reasons that the Hebrew language had so many names for God was that they would recognize God in every situation. Also, remember I said that names reveal our character and personality. So, the names the Israelites used to call on God were reminders of those traits and character.
Ex. God our Peace (Jehovah Shalom) When life was heard, when things were in turmoil, the Israelites would say Jehovah Shalom “God is our peace.” It’s more than just calling our “God” it’s calling out the promises of God and the traits of God.
Ill. Amy Grants song El Shaddai
This leads us to another way of calling out God’s name and that is through praise. Psalm 113:3:
“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3
The number one reaction to recognizing His name is to break out into praise. It’s really amazing in many ways that the world has turned using the name of God into a way of cursing when the real use of God’s name should be praise. I used this verse because it tied into last week’s sermon.
Reminder: Last week part of our challenge was to start and end our day with God.
Finally, we can proclaim God’s name. Deut. 32:3 says:
“I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!” Deut. 32:3
Deut. 32 is Moses swan song. He is 120 years old and God has told him that he has done all he intended him to do and it was time for him to die. Moses has the opportunity to address the nation one more time. Part of his song is to make sure the people know that they are to proclaim God’s name. Moses has seen God’s faithfulness, he has experienced God’s provision, he has walked with God and knows his love, and he wants to encourage the Israelites to continue to proclaim God. Proclaiming God’s name is showing you are proud to be his follower, that you believe in Him and that he has been faithful to you. You want to share it and are proud of it. Moses is wants to make this part of what people remember about him.
One of the reasons I choose this psalm for today is the way it ends in verses 9 and 10:
“As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob, who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” vss. 9-10
Notice those first three words, David says “As for me.” You have a choice. You can choose to be a proponet of God’s name and make God’s name in the world, or, you don’t have to. David says “I am making this choice, for me, it’s to declare forever God. Others are proclaiming their beliefs, we need to be the voice for God in our world. They are telling us what they believe. We are to be the bearers of God’s name and God’s praises.
I was regretting the past
And fearing the future…
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“MY NAME IS I AM.” He paused.
I waited. He continued,
“When you live in the past,
With its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I was.
“When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I will be.
“When you live in this moment,
It is not hard.
I am here.
My name is I am.”
Helen Mallicoat, quoted in Holy Sweat, Tim Hansel, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 136