Blessed Be Your Name by Matt and Beth Redman, 2002.
Blessed be Your name, in the land that is plentiful,
Where Your streams of abundance flow, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name, When I’m found in the desert place,
Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be Your name.
Observe: The opening verse of this song reminds us of the Apostle Paul’s attitude as he faced the highs and lows of the Christian life. He said, I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11–13, ESV).
Paul knew ‘unspeakable heights’ from being raised to the ‘third heaven’ (2 Corinthians 12:2). The people of Paul’s day recognized three heavens. The first is where the clouds are, the second contains the stars, and the third is where God lives. Paul was raised (“whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.”) to the dwelling place of God.
He also knew devastating lows. He writes Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from people, danger in the city, in the wilderness, at sea, in hunger and thirst, cold and exposure. (2 Corinthians 11:24–27).
Paul could face those highs and lows because he knew Jesus had faced far greater contrasts. Eternally with his Father and the Spirit in infinite abundance and perfect harmony, Jesus left the third heaven to take on flesh, to go into the wilderness, and, in the desert, he faced the greatest temptation in history (Mark 1:12). Tempted beyond what we can imagine, he was perfectly obedient to his Father, even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-8). His resurrection proved the sufficiency of his work, and, as the final Adam, Jesus secured for all the promised blessing the first Adam lost (Genesis 3:18-19).
For Paul, the cross was not merely an example; it was the reality that death was defeated. The cross of Christ is the gospel, the power of God for salvation. The gospel was the source of Paul’s strength and is our strength too.
The gospel points us to the cross, the path Jesus took before the crown. We walk a similar path, led by the same Spirit who assured Jesus, and we look toward the promise of the crown that awaits us upon Christ’s return (1 Peter 5:4).
The bridge and chorus of today’s song describe our reality and unfading hope.
You give and take away, You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name.
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say,
Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your glorious name.
The Song for Today will return on Monday, April 13. I pray you will take time to reflect on God’s grace in Christ, and his passion that is the gospel on this Good Friday. We’ll be together in spirit and hopefully those few closest to us for a joyous Easter. When the sun rises will shout, “He is risen, He is risen indeed!” because the Son has risen.
Blessings, Pastor Don