“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth; who have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen – even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth.” – Psalms 8:1-9
What’s in a name?
A name is so much more than just a name.
A name reflects a place of origin; it indicates a culture, an inheritance within that origin. Hidden within every name is a special meaning. You might have been named after someone special within your family, for example a grandparent, an aunt or uncle. Perhaps you were given a name that was passed down throughout the family over several generations. It’s possible that your parents gave you a name of someone in the Bible, with the hopes that you would take on the characteristics of that person into your own life. Your parents might have given you a name that would remind them of someone or something special in their own life; a hero, a favorite singer, movie star or athlete. I have a friend who was named after someone who had saved her mother’s life. Another friend of mine was named for a cartoon character. You cannot imagine the teasing that he got all throughout his life. Names are important. They need to be chosen carefully and with some respect to the meaning that that name holds.
In the Book of Psalms, here in the eighth chapter, David writes about the name of the Lord. He says, not once, but twice in these nine verses, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” David declares that the name of the Lord, His God is an excellent name. The best in all the earth. For that name perfectly describes who the Lord is. There is no doubt when it came to knowing the meaning of that name.
The first “Lord” means “Jehovah”, the covenant-keeping God; the God who keeps His promises. The second “Lord” means “the Sovereign One”, the One who has not only ability but also authority. With an understanding of the meaning behind the name, we might read this verse this way: “O Lord, (our promise making God), our Lord, (the Sovereign One who has the ability and authority to keep His promises), how excellent is Your name in all the earth.”
David goes on to tell us why he thinks the name of the Lord is so excellent and why He is worthy of our worship and praise.
(1) His name reflects His glory! Verse 1 tells us that His glory is set above the heavens. His glory is majestic, full of splendor, and abundant in magnificence. The very glory of our Lord, our Jehovah, our Sovereign One shines from the heavens. Its well worth paying attention to.
(2) His name reflects His strength! David marveled at the fact that God uses strength from babies and nursing infants to silence the enemy and the avenger. The idea here is that the Lord has ordained the weak in our world to shame the strong (I Corinthians 1:27).
(3) His name reflects His creation! In verse 3, David says, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained…” All around us, we see the creation, the great handiwork, of our Lord God. The heavens and earth truly show forth His ability to create something beautiful.
(4) His name reflects His authority! David marveled at the fact that the finite (mortal, weak) man that God created was given dominion (authority) over all that He created. God’s creation of man is described by David as one of power and dignity for “You made him a little lower than the angels, You have crowned him with glory and honor, You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands and You have put all things under his feet.” Man was created to be God’s representative on this earth, to take care of the things that God had created. David marveled at that truth and the place of honor that God gave to mankind.
As David considered these things, he realized just how precious the very name of the Lord is. The Lord, our Lord lives up to His name. He is Jehovah. He is the Sovereign One. His name is excellent in all the earth!
My friend, whenever we stop to consider these same things about the Lord, it should greatly move us towards an expression of our own praise to the majestic, excellent name of our Lord. He is worthy of our praise today!