NEARNESS OF HIS NAME

It is good to sing to the Lord. And it is especially good to sing songs of thanksgiving. In Psalm 75, Asaph reminds us that one of the reasons that we praise and thank God is for the nearness of His name.

“How”, you might ask, “can God’s name be near?” How can something intangible and abstract be “near”? If we take a brief moment to focus on the argument in vs. 1, the answer becomes clear. God’s name is brought near through His doings. God’s actions make manifest to us who He is and all that He’s promised to be to us. As Derek Kidner rightly asserts in his commentary on this psalm, God’s name is both pronouncement of who He is and an open “invitation to call upon Him.” His name is both declaration and invitation. When God acts, His name and the promises it holds for us in this life are made tangible and concrete. [1]

For Christians, the example par excellence of this indissoluble connection between God’s name and actions is found in the Lord Jesus. He took on Flesh and dwelt among us (cf. John 1). He said famously to Philip, “…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). He, Jesus, made God’s name known both to His disciples in His days upon the earth and continues to do so for us now as we place our trust in the God-man who now sits at the right hand of the Father.

[1] Derek Kidner, Kidner Classic Commentaries 73-150, IVP.

by Craig Lester

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