BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Psalm 138:2 ESV
There are times as I read a chapter in the Bible that a verse will stand out to me that has never caught my eye. That happened with Psalm 138:2.
The specific phrase of interest to me was, “…for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” This declaration is one that served as a motivation for steadfast prayer and faith in God’s love and faithfulness.
The psalmist says, “I bow down toward your holy temple….” For God’s people the Temple that had been so long in being built became the physical presence that reminded them of the eternal God.
When Solomon dedicated the Temple, he prayed, “If your people…pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.” (1 Kings 8:44,45 ESV)
As a result, we read of Daniel in captivity in Babylon, that in spite of the King’s order, “…he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem.” (Daniel 6:10 ESV)
But the motivation of prayer is not just a place that spoke of God’s people and God’s presence. The motivation and faith that compels seeking the Lord is because God’s name and Word is exalted above all.
God’s name reminds us of His character. God’s name is in focus in the Lord’s prayer when we read, “hollowed be thy name….” The Lord’s name is in focus when Paul declares to the Philippians, “every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10)
The Lord has exalted above all things His name. That is why so many hymns and choruses have a focus on the name of Jesus. That is why we see the power that exists in the name of Jesus. That’s why the name of Jesus can stir controversy even in our world today.
God’s name is exalted and His Word is exalted. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) When solider were sent to arrest Jesus during one of the feasts they returned empty handed to the religious leaders. Their only excuse was, “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” (John 7:46 NLT)
In Psalm 107 we simply read, “He sent out His word and healed them….” (Psalm 107:20) The Centurion who came to Jesus had one simple request, “But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8:8)
John’s gospel opens with the declaration, “In the beginning was the Word….the Word was made flesh and we beheld His glory full of grace and truth…” (John 1:1,14)
The Lord’s name and the Lord’s word. Exalted above all else. When we understand the power in a simple concept it motivates faith-filled, confident prayer in a God of steadfast love and faithfulness.
Prayer for today…. Lord we say it and we sing it, but fail to grasp the power of Your name and its significance to our life. Thank You that Your Word is life. It provides direction, hope, healing and comfort. All that we need. Allow us to see when we pray in Your Name, when we stand on Your Word, we engage that which You have exalted above all else.