The Name of the Lord.

J. N. Darby & J. G. Bellett.

(Words in Season, Vol. 3, 1889, page 302.)

The name of Jehovah signifies that which He is in Himself, the revelation of His character, and also that of His relationship with His people. His name (or glory) and His people's blessing go together, but putting His glory as our first object is the only true way to secure our blessing. Psalm 108 is composed of the end of Ps. 57 and the end of Ps. 60, and where they join is the exaltation of Jehovah (Ps. 57:11) and the deliverance of the beloved people (Ps. 60:5; Ps. 108:1 and 7). Thus, "glory and strength" are in that name (Ps. 29:1); "mercy and truth" (Ps. 115:1); "goodness" (Ps. 25:7); "loving-kindness" (Ps. 138:2); "righteousness" (Ps. 143:1); when faith counts on the revealed name there is "trust" (Ps. 9:10); we get "victory" through that name (Ps. 44:5); faith "waits" on that name (Ps. 52:9); it is our "portion" (Ps. 61:5); we may well "rejoice" in that name (Ps. 89:16).

In Exodus 3:14, 15, His name is the memorial for His people for ever. He remembers His covenant with the fathers (2:24), and His name is pledged on behalf of His people. And in the utter failure of the people soon after (Ex. 32:), where they practically give up God, Moses pleads the name, the revealed character of the Lord (vers. 9-14). See also Exodus 33:18, Exodus 34:5-8, and mark, "Thy glory" (Ex. 33:18), "goodness" (ver. 19), "name"; and see also Deut. 9:18-29, Num. 14:11-20. And again, in 1 Sam. 12:22, when the people had rejected the Lord that He should not reign over them (1 Sam. 8). "His great name's sake" is the reason given by Samuel why He will not forsake His people. And Ps. 74 may be taken as an expression of the very lowest extremity to which their own sin in the rejection of their Messiah and of the Holy Ghost, through Stephen, had brought them - when "the enemies roar in the congregation" (ver. 4); when man's ensigns, not God's (Ps 60:4), are the signs of power, and what is worse, "no signs from God" (ver. 9), no prophets, none that can tell "how long" before God comes in in power on behalf of His people; yet there is faith that God will not utterly forsake His people, and the word "how long?" turns into a cry (ver. 10). It cannot be "for ever." His faithfulness is trusted in redemption (vers. 2 and 13-15); His covenant faithfulness (vers. 16, 17), (see Jer. 33:20); "His name," their cause, His cause (ver. 21). Confidence in the faithfulness of God, when as to outward circumstances the power of the enemy seemed to make all hopeless, even on the ground of trusting Him; but they were His own people, He had redeemed them, and now bound Himself up in grace with them.

So in the next Psalm, where Messiah takes up the congregation and judgment into His own hand, the first verse giving the thanksgiving of the people saved and avenged in answer to their cry in Ps. 74, we have the name again. God's work in their deliverance has shewn Him to be near His people, as here they celebrate. So for us, "all the power of the name of Father, all the grace and faithfulness of it for those who are risen with Christ, and loved as He is loved, is ever near to us, and the wondrous work of Christ, resurrection declares it." For in the deliverance of His people He acts righteously, and in His actings manifests all the principles of His throne, so as to give the place and ground of confidence to all that seek the right (Ps. 9:7-10). The throne prepared for judgment, and righteous judgment, but the Lord, also a refuge, so when His doings are declared among the heathen (ver. 11), it shall be to the Lord a name of joy, a praise, and an honour (Jer. 33:9), and indeed (vers. 6-11), a learning from the dealings of the Lord on behalf of the confiding remnant, the faithfulness, the goodness, and full name of the Lord. The mercy-seat was God's throne in Israel, and the blood sprinkled on it met all the demands of His holiness. So again in Ps. 105, which is the supremacy of pure grace, facts taken up between the Red Sea and Sinai, all from Sinai onward omitted. "O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name; glory in His holy name; He remembered His covenant" (vers. 8 and 42)

Ps. 106 begins with mercy, because in it we have facts taken up omitted in the former Psalm, after Sinai onward, God's government acting in the midst of evil, consequently in grace (Ex. 34:6). But there, too, is His name mentioned, and that very sweetly. "He remembered" (Ps. 105:8 and 42), but "they remembered not the multitude of His mercies" (Ps. 106: 7); nevertheless, He saved them for His name's sake" (vers. 8 and 47).

Ps. 135, which closes the songs of degrees, the burst of praise after them. They (the songs of degrees) are the progress of Israel from sorrow (120), through sorrow, to full blessing and praise in Zion, and then His name is celebrated in a full note of praise (vers. 1, 3, 13). Their Creator, Redeemer, and Protector, the name of the only true God, the God of Israel, endures for ever, while the memorials of all besides, and the idols, perish for ever.

Observe Ps. 136 is "mercy," and in 135, "glory." The creation of the heavens, the divine dealings with the Amorites, all these have declared God's name, or glory. And now the very same things are celebrated as publishing His mercy, the same ways and works of the Lord publishing both His name and His mercy, His glory and His grace, with equal clearness and sureness - they honour Him and bless His people. It is at His name, or glory, as seen from His works, they first look, and then at their own blessing from these works. His name endures for ever (Ps. 135:13), and His mercy also (136). "Praise ye the Lord, praise ye the name of the Lord; sing praises unto His name, for it is pleasant." "I will bless Thy name for ever and ever."