Let the Name of Yahweh be Blessed!
“Let the name of Yahweh be blessed;
From now until eternity!”
Oh, beloved, how the psalmist continues with his words of praise! It is as if the psalmist has been so taken in delight as he sets forth to praise our God and King that he simply cannot contain it in a single verse, but continues on, elevating his praise to a new and more wonderful level. And here he sets forth a wonderful command: let the very name of Yahweh be praised, and let it be praised now and forever! What a wonderful statement. It is as if the psalmist is speaking to us through the generations and saying, you who fear the Lord, do not forget to honor and praise the name of our God in all you do whenever you do what you do. What a statement it is that he sets before us.
When God gave us the Ten Commandments, the third commandment was to not take the Lord’s name in vain. Usually, in modern times, we understand this in terms of slang and vulgarity, and certainly it is quite inappropriate to use our God’s name in such a way. At the same time, the Hebrews understood this commandment to mean so much more. They understood this commandment to also speak of using God’s name for empty or vain purposes—don’t take an oath in God’s name if you never intend to fulfill your part of the bargain, for example. The word “vain” in Hebrew refers to something that is empty or insubstantial, and God commanded that in every use of his name, we are to do so in a substantial way. Now, historically, the Hebrews eventually became so superstitious about not using his name properly, they stopped using his name at all. Yet, here, the psalmist is teaching us how to use the name of Yahweh in a way that is not vain or empty—we are to praise it. Just as God is holy, everything associated with him is holy and righteous and wonderful, and so, too, his name is worthy of our praise. And, indeed, to take this principle to its logical end, we must look to Jesus, who was given the name which is above all other names, for he is God (Philippians 2:9).
Sometimes, loved ones, we struggle with this. Sometimes we have a bad tendency to use God’s name in such a way that it is meant to gain us advantage. Sometimes we simply tell people that we are Christians because we think that is what they want to hear. Sometimes we do what is worse, and we use, if even accidentally in a slip-up, we use God’s name in a dirty, vain, and vulgar way—or we allow others in our presence to do so without telling them how offensive it is to us. Beloved, the psalmist is reminding us that there is only one good and proper way to use God’s name, and that is to praise it! Oh, loved ones, let us set our hearts and lives to doing just that, and let us speak truth into the lives of others to encourage them to do the same. Let us honor the name of our God by lifting it up in praise and honor.
Jesus! The name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace.