Psalm 103:1 “Of David.  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!”
This post begins a series of reflections on this beautiful Psalm of King David.
The Psalm begins with a challenge David gives to himself: “Bless the LORD, O my soul!”
Already, we learn an important lesson for the Christian life: Sometimes you have to talk to yourself. Sometimes you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “It’s time, buddy! Enough moping! Bless the Lord!”
Whenever “Lord” is in all caps as “LORD,” it means the specific, special, personal name of God is being used. This name was so special that the scribes would often write “Lord” instead of the actual name. This specialness is what is meant by “holy.”
Holiness is specialness. It is otherness. It is set-apartness. Set-apartness like a brand new outfit set apart for the first day of school.
God’s name is the most special, holiest name in all of existence!
What is his name? YHWH. In Hebrew: יְהֹוָה (It is pronounced “Yah-way,” or some pronounce it “Jehovah.”) This particular name is sometimes referred to as the tetragrammaton because it has four letters. It means something like “I Am,” in the sense of self-existence, as in, the One who is uncreated, self-sustaining life and being Himself.
But why is it so special/holy?
Because there is no one, no thing, no being like Him. You can’t get any more “other” than YHWH.
Because it is God’s personal name. Knowing someone’s name is a big deal. It is the difference between strangers and the beginning of a relationship. So to know it, to be told it, is wonderful.
Because it is His covenant name. We don’t use the word “covenant” a lot, but it is similar to a contract. In saying YHWH is his covenant name, it is like saying it is the official name with which he signs contracts. YHWH is his signature, his commitment.
So, when David thinks about this holy, special name, he rallies himself. In saying “bless his holy name” he is saying, “Remember how special it is! Celebrate it! Soul, give all that the Lord is its proper place!”
What does this have to do with you and me?
We, too, must challenge ourselves daily to remember and celebrate the LORD and his name and all that it stands for. We should pray daily, “Our Father in heaven, may your name be holy…in my heart, in my life, in my family, in all I do.”