2 I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word.
Psalm 138:2 (RSV)
The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates the second part of this verse like this: “You have exalted Your name and Your promise above everything else.” Imagine if someone tells you today that they are going to give you an air-conditioner tomorrow. Then after two days, or two weeks they’ve not made good on their promise. When you see them and you tell them, “You said that you were going to give me an air-conditioner,” and they say, “Oh, it was not me who said so; it was my word,” you would think they have gone crazy. A person of integrity can’t be separated from their word. That is what the Scripture as rendered in these versions are telling us: God does not separate His Name from His Word. He is a Father who has integrity.
If I genuinely promised to give some- one an air-conditioner, but an emergency came up, and I had to use the money I had intended to use to purchase the air-conditioner, to attend to the emergency, what would I do? I might be tempted to say to myself, “Well, I won’t buy the air-conditioner anymore because a valid emergency beyond my control came up. I am justified in walking away from my promise.” How often Christians do this! It ought not to be so. When such a tempting thought to walk away from my promise comes up, I immediately think of my integrity and the effect my intended action will have on my name and that would be the end of that temptation. I will do what I need to do in order to fulfil my word and keep the honour of my name intact. Rather than give excuses, I would communicate the reason for the delay in my fulfilling my promise, but I will keep that air-conditioner high on my priority list and I will fulfil it. By so doing, my name would be as good as my word.
The same is true with God’s Word. The honour of His Name is backed up by the integrity of His Word. If His Word promised you something, you can rest assured that it is yours.
Confession: God’s Word and His Name are exalted above every other thing. The honour of His Name is backed up by the integrity of His Word.