Honoring the NAME of the LORD

Do you have a serious concern for the honor and reputation of God’s name? Are you bothered when our Lord’s name is used as a cuss word? Are you grieved when His name is blasphemed and trampled upon? King David had this same concern when he faced the 9’9” giant Goliath who defied the name of the LORD of hosts in 1 Samuel 17. After 40 days of taunting the Israelites and profaning God’s name, David, as the true Shepherd-King stands as the mediator for Israel in the valley and wages warfare against the giant. Yet, the warfare is not only a physical battle between two armies. Instead, it is a theological battle of worship. How could a pagan Philistine continue to defy the name of the Lord and get away with it?

Armed only with five smooth stones and a sling shot, David shows his true heart for the glory of God by issuing these words to Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:45: “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” David’s chief concern was that Goliath had blasphemed God’s precious and holy name.

The Second Commandment in Exodus 20:7 says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. How did Jesus begin the model prayer? “Our Father in heaven; hallowed or holy be your name.” All throughout the Old Testament, God does things in power and majesty to reveal the glory of His name. Psalm 8:1: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 124:8 “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Jeremiah 10:6 “There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.”

This entire battle is about the glory and majesty and reputation and name of the Lord; and Israel and their King Saul are shattered in fear on the sidelines not standing up for the honor of God’s name. They are paralyzed in fear. They are not having faith in the power of their covenant God.

And yet there is one man—David—who sees things the way they really are. Goliath has defied the name of the Lord and this is unacceptable. Something has to be done about this. Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. David knows that God will not share His glory with anyone else—especially this pagan Philistine who is shouting sharp words of intimidation to God’s people. He is an idolater who needs to be silenced.

In essence, he tells Goliath—you can’t just stand there and defy and profane the name of my LORD and get away with it. As a matter of fact, anyone who blasphemes or curses God deserves to be stoned. Leviticus 24:16 says, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.” Why do you think David killed him by hitting him in the forehead with a stone? This is a worship issue and in a sense, David knows that Law of God and he is doing what the Israelites were too scared to do—stone the blasphemer.

I love what Spurgeon says about this: “Mark you well that David did smite Goliath, and he smote him effectually NOT in the loins, or on the hand, or on the foot—but in a vital point he delivered the stroke that laid him low. He smote him in the brow of his presumption, on the forehead of his pride!”

Do you worship the powerful name of King Jesus? Is your principal concern to bring Him glory and honor? Do you desire to protect the reputation of our Savior? I pray that as a Christian you take seriously how holy, precious, and powerful the name of Jesus truly is.

Do you stake your entire life on Paul’s words in Philippians 2:9–11: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

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