“O YHWH, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Thus begins, and ends, Psalm 8—one of the loveliest passages in scripture.
This psalm conveys the awe we all feel when we stop and pay attention to the power and the grace of the Almighty Creator. If we do. Stop, I mean, and pay attention. Something many of us aren’t all that good at.
The majesty of the name of YHWH fills the creation, David says. Any yet, it must not be complete. Teaching us to pray, Jesus instructs us that the number one thing, ahead of everything else, is to pray, “Hallowed be your name.” Which we would not need to pray for if the Name were already treated as holy, already known and recognized as majestic.
Jesus himself prayed out loud, “Father, glorify your name.” Then, we’re told, a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (John 12:28) The Name has been glorified, but there is further glory yet to come. And it has to do with us! Listen:
All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God… I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. (Psalm 86:9-12)
In scripture, a name is far more than an identifier.
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?” (Revelation 15:3-4)
Very little in the world around us glorifies God or acknowledges His majesty. Our own nature takes us in the exact opposite direction! Hence the need to be reminded to pray, “Hallowed be your name.” In another psalm we’re exhorted: “Praise YHWH! Praise, O servants of YHWH, praise the name of YHWH! Blessed be the name of YHWH from this time forth and forevermore!” (Psalm 113:1-2)
In scripture, a name is far more than an identifier. Especially the Name. See Exodus 34:5-7 for God’s own declaration of His Name, which turns out to be a declaration of His character. He is majestic, and His Name is a declaration of His majesty.
How does this come home to us? Our part is to revere, to recognize and speak out the glory of God, the majesty of God. To praise His Name, which means to praise Him for who He is. To pray that His Name be hallowed now: in our lives, our words, our hearts. And that it be hallowed forever, His will done in all the earth.