Read Psalm 2o at Bible Gateway.
Isn’t it interesting that when David wrote this Psalm by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he didn’t say, “May the God of Jacob defend you,” but, “May the name of the God of Jacob defend you.” He didn’t say, “We will remember the LORD our God,” but “We will remember the name of the LORD our God.”
The personal name of God, is YHVH, I AM THAT I AM. He is the One who exists, and everything else that exists, exists because He exists. It is the word of His power that upholds all things (Heb 1:3) .
“Name” in Hebrew, is shem, Strong’s H8034, shin + mem. Its root meaning comes from the ancient Hebrew pictographs: shin is the two front teeth, and mem is the water. Water is carried in and out of our front teeth by breathing, so the verb form means to breathe, the concrete object is breath. The breath of a man is his life, his soul:
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Gen 2:7
So in Hebraic thinking, the breath of a man contains his life, his person, that which lives on after death, so also, his personality, his character. The Hebrew shem came to mean “name,” because Hebrews gave names to describe character:
And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” Gen 27:36
So how does the name of our God defend us? His name describes who He is, His character and His nature. When we remember the name of the LORD our God, we are remembering who He is, what He has said, what He has done and what He will do. His name also carries His authority, so that when we pray in His name, we are asking and declaring truth in His authority!
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