Reading: Psalm 75
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A psalm of Asaph. A song.
We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.
You say, “I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.
To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.
Do not lift your horns against heaven;
do not speak so defiantly.’”
No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt themselves.
It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
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.
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” (NIV).
Plum blossoms — photo by David Kitz
I find the opening verse of this psalm to be very thought-provoking. Let’s take a moment to consider it: We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.
Ask yourself how many, “Oh my G*ds!” do you hear in a day? How many “OMGs” do you see posted on Facebook? I dare say quite a few. Are these exclamations expressed in praise to God? Of course not. They are meaningless expressions of surprise—or are they?
They are meaningless expressions to those that believe this command from the LORD is a meaningless expression. “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, NIV).
The Common English Bible translates this command with these words, “Do not use the LORD your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the LORD won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way” (Exodus 20:7, CEB).
God’s commands are not meaningless expressions. There is power in the name of the LORD (Yahweh). Perhaps we need this reminder. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
Response: LORD God, I want to treat your Name with the respect and honor it deserves. Please forgive me if I have misused your name in any way. I pray in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
Your Turn: Why do you think the LORD (Yahweh) makes a big deal about His name? Why is it important?