certain truths and concepts which dominate the whole
Bible, and which are gathered into a single word. They
are like a bunch of keys which, if you possess them,
unlock the entire revelation of the mind of God. The most
inclusive of these is the word 'Name' as relating to God.
You have only to look at the pages of a concordance where
the word occurs and you will feel overwhelmed by the
number of occurrences in every book. And not just the
number of occurrences, but the immense associations and
connections of the Name. I wonder how many books would be
needed to write something on all these statements about
the Name! Here is indeed a theme that would keep
preachers going for years! It is not only the titles of
the Lord; that is wonderful enough; but it is what is
meant by the Name of the Lord. We can do no more than
approach it; never exhaust it.
IS THE NAME OF THE LORD?
The Name of the Lord is the full content of His
character. It is what He is by nature and constitution.
This has always been an idea in naming. Sometimes it is
prophetic. The Lord led to the giving of a name because
the named would be what the name meant or implied. The
Bible has much on that line, both as to people and
places. Sometimes He changed names with the implication
of a changed nature. Without giving a specific
designation, such as Jehovah, El Shaddai, etc., on
numerous occasions it is just: "the name of the
Lord", "My name", "My great
name", "My holy name", and so on, meaning
just what and who God is.
Allied to this concept God is shown to be exceedingly
jealous for His Name. Indeed, the great things which God
is on record as having done for or against those
concerned are said to have been acts of jealousy for His
Name. The effectual ground of appeal to God for
intervention and help has been that of His Name, His very
character. God MUST be true to His character. To
'take the Name of the Lord in vain' is to use it out of
harmony with His character. God has a reputation and He
cannot allow that reputation to be injured. He called a
people out of the nations for His Name, which meant
showing forth what God is like. When that people, in
character and conduct, violated the principle of the
Name, He flung them from Him and no more called them
This was the one and sole burden of the Prophets. They
were raised up and anointed for the sole purpose of
dealing with what was contrary to the Name - the
character of God. The Name of the Lord is a solemn and
glorious trust, a trust to be guarded and honoured. But
we must remember that it is not only the TITLE of
a Person, but the very character of the Person, which is
to be guarded as a most sacred deposit or entrustment!
This is the clue to Jesus Christ. Note His jealousy over
His Father's Name! Note how that affected His own walk in
this world. He came in and for His Father's Name,
reputation, honour, glory and rights. His life and His
work had His Father's vindication as all-governing. God
has taken two thousand years to answer the discrediting
of His Name as embodied in His Son. Israel has been, and
is, God's terrible example of God's jealousy over this
fact: that Jesus Christ bore, lived, died and wrought for
the Name of God. He was a revelation of what God is like
and THEY SLEW HIM! This is a clue to Christianity.
Christians are said to be "baptized into His
Name", and to have His Name called upon them.
(Matthew 28:19 James 2:7). Hence, God is jealous over
those who TRULY bear His Name. To touch them is to
But this is a trust and it should be an incentive to life
and conduct worthy of Him. It should be the motive in our
attitude toward ANY situation which involves His
honour. A proof of this principle of the Christian life
is that ANY TRUE Christian cannot hurt the Lord's
Name and character without the Holy Spirit giving a sense
of grief. The Holy Spirit is the present custodian of the
Lord's Name and honour, and He is VERY sensitive
to His trust. A mark of spiritual maturity is an
increasing sensitiveness to the pleasure or displeasure
of the Lord; just as a mark of immaturity is that things
contrary to the Lord - in speech, act, conduct, dress,
appearance, discourtesy, vulgarity, rudeness, etc. - can
be indulged in and repeated without that inward sense of
shame. To bear the Name of the Lord means a jealousy on
our part for the honour of the Lord, and "They that
honour me, I will honour, saith the Lord". As
Christians who carry the Name of the Lord, to be true to
that Name we ought to be progressively taking on the
character of the Lord. Paul said: "And they
glorified God in me." The Name, therefore, is a
challenge to character.
It must be ever remembered that the one greatest object
of the great adversary is to dishonour the Lord's Name,
and this brings the Lord's people into the great battle
of the ages.
Both the individual Christian and the Christian Church
are the trustees of the Lord's Name. What a lot of
history of suffering and adversity is associated with
this truth! It explains a whole mass of the troubles
which the assemblies experience. If Christians were more
awake to what is involved in their troubles -
individually and collectively - how much more would their
jealousy for the Lord's honour make them act and react
differently! Their motive would be: "For the Lord's
2. The Name of the Lord is the embodiment of His
For the sake of His Name He has worked and does work. He
makes Himself a Name by His works, and we can count on
Him to work for His Name's sake. His works are many: He
saves for His Name's sake; He keeps; He gives grace; He
sanctifies; He corrects; He delivers; He chastens; He
leads in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake'.
What a Rock of confidence, assurance, comfort, is the
Name of the Lord when we view it in this light! What a
ground of appeal we have when we really hold an issue to
His Name! "What will you do for your great
name?" was the appeal in a very difficult and
threatening situation long ago (Joshua 7:9).
"I wrought for my great name", said the Lord
All the mighty work of Christ by His Cross is now
gathered into His Name. All the power and ability to work
by His servants is in virtue of His Name. (See the book
of Acts.) All the ultimate overthrow of the adversary's
kingdom, and the bowing of every knee will be in His
Name. His Name is called... because He SAVES!
Effectual work is when the workers correspond to, and
stand upon the Name.
3. The Name of the Lord is the embodiment of His
God is the God of eternal purpose. To that purpose He has
committed Himself. Being Who and What He is, He could
never undertake anything that He could not finally
accomplish. To be defeated in, or cheated of His purpose
would mean losing His Name, His reputation, His
character. This can never be! Hence, infinite
persistence, patience, pains, are components of His Name,
and if He is finally resisted by an instrument and vessel
of His purpose, He will make another vessel. The first
generation that came out of Egypt resisted Him unto death
- their death - but He raised up another generation and
realized His purpose through them. He is the God of Hope
because He cannot be ULTIMATELY defeated. The
valley may be full of bones, very many, very dry, and
very scattered; God holds the key of hope in the power of
resurrection. Resurrection is God's unique answer to
otherwise utterly hopeless situations. Hence He is called
"the God who raiseth the dead". He will
eventually stand possessed of His purpose for His Name
For the weakest soul who pleads His Name He will show His
jealousy, if only and truly it is for His Name's sake!
His Name stands or falls with such, and it cannot fall!
We are very deeply conscious of how utterly inadequate
our effort to extol the Name has been and we can only
hope that, as a part of this ministry, it will serve to
make some impression. Our common and familiar language
and phraseology concerning the Name of the Lord needs
redeeming from the commonplace. To say: "hallowed be
thy name", and "In the name of the Lord
Jesus" to every prayer needs to have the immense
significance of what we say restored and recovered.
Indeed, the numerous mentions of the Name in Scripture
need to have a new impact and meaning as we come on them.
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the
righteous runneth in and is raised above" (Proverbs
"They that know thy name will put their trust in
thee" (Psalm 9:10).
"In the name of our God we will set up our
banners" (Psalm 20:5).
"I will set him on high, because he hath known my
name" (Psalm 91:14).
"Dear Name! The
rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding-place;
My never-failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace."
From "A Witness
and a Testimony" May-June 1969, Vol. 47-3.