Who have you been talking with?

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

It has been a while since I have spoken about the various names of God in scripture, but this psalm opens with two different names used for God - LORD and Lord. Sometimes it is easy to miss the subtle differences because we just 'read over' them. When we stop for a moment to consider what is being said by the use of the various names of God, we can begin to see the true meaning of the passage. LORD is God's 'covenant name' used in the Hebrew language. We might think of this as the 'Old Testament' name referencing his entering into 'covenant' with the Israelite nation. Another term for LORD is Yahweh or Jehovah. The meaning: I am who I am, or I am that I am. God is, has been, will always be the God of the universe - there is no other who compares with him, no other worthy of worship and honor.

Yahweh (LORD) references God's creative power. Thinking upon that for a moment, isn't it good to know that the one who creates all, has the power to bring forth something out of nothing, is the one we can enter into relationship with? That is the meaning of a 'covenant' - it is an agreement between individuals that cannot be broken, but there are 'conditions' to every covenant. On God's side, he shows himself faithful and powerful - on our side, we obey his commands and live according to his will. Lord references God's sovereignty, or as we might best understand it - master. When our psalmist opens with LORD - he is revealing the power of God, but when he uses the term 'our Lord', he is referencing God's position as 'master' or 'ruler' over his people.

The first term speaks of his right to rule. The latter speaks of a depth of relationship that results in one being willing to submit to his leadership in their lives. As creator, he is worthy of respect and honor. As master, his worthy of willing obedience and trust. God is not a 'force' - he is not an angry judge or a stern rule giver. He is the one we are to admire and honor. Our psalm is really saying there is absolutely no one else in this entire world 'worthy' of the same honor - no one else we should look up to as we do him. We give him the honor due his name - LORD, the creator of all; and Lord, our master and King. One expresses our awareness of his position, the other shows our heart in seeking the one who loves us so much. Just sayin!


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