I remember your name in the night, O LORD,
and keep your law.
Psalm 119:55 ESV
Here the psalmist declares that his nightly meditation is upon the name of the LORD. As he lay in his bed, he thinks upon the nature and goodness of his God, for God’s name reflects His character. We observed this, of course, in Exodus with the LORD revealing and then displaying the grandeur of His name to both the Israelites and the Egyptians, and that declaration (“I am the LORD”) continues to be one of the great refrains throughout the remainder of the Old Testament.
This bears two applications.
First, we ought to have God’s name in mind whenever we are most alone. It is common that in the night people face, because of the stillness and solitude, the existential realities that they distract themselves from throughout the day. Yet during these moments, God’s people ought to happily turn their thoughts to God, remembering His name. After all, we need not fear nor be anxious, for we know the sovereign Maker of heaven and earth by name.
Second, we ought also to remember God’s name whenever night falls upon the soul, whenever sorrows or trials seem to have obscured the very light of God’s face. In such moments, we are to remember God’s character as expressed by His holy name. Today, we are to remember particularly that we now call God our Father because of our adoption through His Son. If He has given us so great a gift, how much more will He be steadfastly with us even through the long nights of the soul?
The psalmist concludes by saying that he keeps God’s law. I think Spurgeon’s connection between these two lines is correct: “If we don’t keep the name of God in our memory, we won’t keep the law of God in our conduct… If we don’t think about Him privately, we will not obey Him openly.” Let us, therefore, meditate upon God’s holy name, especially in the night, that we might also live in obedience that brings Him glory.