“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2)
God’s word is placed above His name.
As we continue to focus on the Gospel Absolutes, it is critical that we do not forget this foundational truth.
Because, to reverse this order — by focusing on His name above His word — is a serious error.
Define What You Believe
We only truly know Him as He reveals Himself in His word. All the details of His character and His reputation are placed there for us. They give us the parameters of His work and purpose that His name does not.
Notice how many of the false “Christian” religions will call their denominations or local churches after some name of God. Yet their teachings may be quite contrary to the word of God.
Because, without definition, a name can mean whatever they decide it means.
They focus on the name and dig deep into whatever aspect of that name may reinforce their particular bent on doctrine. Yet, at the core, they do not place the final authority on His word.
This is most commonly seen in the focus on God’s Love. Many focus on love above all things. And interpret God’s character as being about love above all. Forgetting He is also fully Holy and Righteous.
The other day I was listening to a contemporary hymn that, in mantra-like fashion, repeated a phrase emphasizing how God’s love is the ground of hope. How one can hope in His love.
But this is not correct.
Yes, I can rest in His love. And I can take wonderful comfort in His love. I am unable to exist without His love. But only on the authority of His word. His word is my foundation. His word is the ground where I must stand.
All else is sinking sand.
This is a common problem in modern evangelical churches. Everything has become too mushy. The hymns have become like the pop songs of our age. As if God were our girlfriend or boyfriend. And we are singing Him a love song!
This has come about because the churches are slipping away from the word of God in order to focus on the emotional needs and “felt needs” of their attendees. The sound of the music is more rock than worship. More emotion than spiritual reverence. More about what we can feel than the God we must seek by faith in written truth.
The Bible has become whatever the church has chosen to read from. Whatever version the church places in the back of the chair or in the pew. Whatever they have determined is “easier to read”, or whatever “speaks to this generation.”
Right now, the modern evangelical church is fighting a battle from a castle whose foundation is crumbling. The world’s religious forces have been working against us for a long time. And they are more aware than we are about how we can be defeated.
By undermining our foundation. Our only foundation.
Which is why the emphasis must come back to His word.
God is Focused on His Word
When we emphasize an aspect of His name, we must remember that one aspect must be in union with all of His other aspects. To focus on His love at the expense of purity or holiness or some other aspect of His character, is a grave error.
It is something we have become accustomed to seeing in the mainline protestant churches. Which is why hell and judgment are rarely, if ever, spoken about.
In such places you can get a thousand variations on the Sermon on the Mount. You hear about Jesus as the Prince of Peace. And as The Good Shepherd. Yet you rarely hear of man’s depravity and his lost condition before a holy God. Because they have chosen to focus on God as a loving and gentle entity. One that will not bring every soul into judgment.
And the thing about judgment — it is according to His word.
Not according to His name.
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)