Posts Tagged ‘Name of God’

Unlike many of the more stately hymns that I have written about in this Sunday morning series, this popular hymn lacks the majesty of lyric as well as the almost classical melody of previous favorites. Nevertheless, I find myself coming back to this simple hymn often because of the power of simple words and the appropriateness of its common tune.

Frederick Whitfield (1829-1904), the author, was an English clergyman who left over thirty volumes of writings behind at his death. The tune is a simple American ditty; no one really knows when the lyrics and the tune came together, but by the turn of the century, it had appeared in several songbooks and was a favorite of Ira Sankey and Dwight Moody during their revivals.

When Sherrylee and I first came back from Germany and I needed to earn some extra money, a young man working on his Masters degree hired me to translate a very thick 19th century German theological book into English for him. It has been so long ago that I don’t remember the exact name of the book nor its author, but I do remember how much I learned about The Name of God and Jesus.

Not only do you see the great holiness of “The Name” in Old Testament verses like the following, but the power—almost a personification of The Name itself:

Exodus 3:15 – God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.

Exodus 9:16 – But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Exodus 23:21 – Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him

Leviticus 22:32 – Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who made you holy

2 Samuel 7:13 – He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

I Kings 8:17 –My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.

I Kings 11:36 – I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name.

Psalm 91:14 – “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Daniel 9:19 – Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.

Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

John 14:14 – You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.          

Even our baptism needs the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

There are those who have chosen to no longer close their prayers using Jesus’ name or to call the Name of Jesus at baptism. I am not one of them! They probably are trying innocently to avoid triteness or meaningless ritual, but having been sensitized to the power, the glory, the holiness, and the eternal magnitude of the Name of God-Jesus, I could never approach his throne without The Name.

And that is why I love this hymn and many more that exalt The Name.

There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.

It tells me of a Savior’s love, who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea.

It tells me what my Father hath in store for eve’ry day,
And tho’ I tread a darksome path, yields sunshine all the way.

It tells of One whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe,
Who in each sorrow bears a part, that none can bear below.

Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus, Because He first loved me

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