This Week: Psalm 8

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David Bahn-Reflections Podcast


Psalm 8

LORD, our LORD,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

LORD, our LORD,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Great Kiskadee | South Padre Island, TX | September 2022

I thought I was prepared. I had name tags and markers. I had a list with many names. All with the meanings attached. But the list proved to be not just unhelpful, but irrelevant. I wanted to ask the children their names and then tell them what their names meant. But their names were all very different. Foreign. African. I had to ask each one to spell her name. Beautiful, but mysterious to me. Not mysterious, but beautiful to God.

So I shared with the children yesterday morning that God knows each of their names. And that he has called them by name. And that he has put his name on them in their baptism. And that he loves them. And they are each special to him. They are part of his family. Then we prayed…in Jesus’ name.

Sunday, January 1, 2023 is celebrated in most Christian churches as the Circumcision and Name of Jesus. Jesus: the name means, “The Lord Saves.” Jesus, name above all names. Jesus of Nazareth: Savior and Lord. And here we have the this beautiful psalm. And its refrain, “O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

When it is spelled with all caps, it stands for the holy sacred name of God, “Yahweh” (יהוה). It’s the name God gave to Moses when he called Moses, speaking to him through a burning bush (cf. Exodus 3:1-15). It was considered so sacred that the Jewish rabbis and lectors would substitute “Adoni” in place of “Yahweh” when they came to that in the texts of the Old Testament.

This name, LORD, is majestic and holy. So profound that scholars and rabbis have studied it and his works for millenia. Yet it is so accessible that a child can speak it in great power. It puts substance behind our faith. It is more majestic than the highest heavens, yet comes to the most humble of needy in grace and mercy. It instills fear and inspires love in the hearts of all kinds of people, young and old, rich and poor, mighty and weak, religious and those who do not think of themselves so.

God has further revealed his name to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And the name Jesus, most especially, is the name above all names. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and proclaim, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” to the glory of the Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Most excellent!

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