I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
When we see God declare that something is above all or more than anything, we should pay attention. If God’s word tells us that God has exalted something above all other things, we need to recognize that that thing is the top priority there is. We must not miss it.
Note that this psalm gives us a picture of what is of the highest priority to God. God has exalted or raised up above all things his name and his word. God’s name is not simply the word by which he is called. My name is Travis, but in the sense that this passage speaks of name, it is more than the word “Travis” that would be my name. Name in this passage points toward one’s reputation and character. God has not exalted the word “God” above all things, he has exalted his own reputation, glory, and character above all else.
Thus, what is most important? What is most important in God’s eyes is his reputation, his glory, is identity as God. When things we do shine positive light on the name, the reputation, and the glory of God, we do what God says is of highest importance. When our thoughts and actions show the universe around us that God is of greatest importance, we magnify his name and do the most important thing in the world.
God has also exalted his word above all things. God’s word, his revealing of himself and his will, is of utmost importance. Too often, we assume that our own opinions and thoughts are the highest measure. Too often we make ourselves the authorities that will sit in judgment over God and his ways. But when we do so, we are wrong.
Use this thought as an example of us exalting our opinion over God’s word. In the above verse, we saw that God has exalted his name above all things. Yet, how many of us naturally revolt against this idea? How many of us act as though it is wrong of God to set his name above all? Do you naturally say that God is selfish for making his own name and reputation the most important thing in the universe? If you do, you have exalted your opinion above God’s word. You have decided that you will, by your own wisdom, sit in judgment over the decisions and word of God. This is not a good position to be in.
God’s passion for his own glory is a very good thing for his children. In fact, it is the most loving thing that God could do for us. I could spend pages making that argument, but John Piper has already done so; if you’re interested, read his stuff.
What we want to learn from this is the fact that it is true that God’s name and God’s word are supreme. Everything we do should be done in the light of glorifying God’s name. Everything we do and think should be in submission to God’s word. This changes everything. Ask god this day to help you to focus your all on his name and submit to his word for his glory.