Monday, September 3

Caring about God’s reputation

Scripture: Ezekiel 20-21, Psalm 111, Revelation 8

Ezekiel 20:14 But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.  (See also v. 9, 22)

Ezekiel 20:44 You will know that I am the Lord, house of Israel, when I have dealt with you for the sake of my name rather than according to your evil ways and corrupt acts. 

Observation

Three times in Ezekiel 20, God tells Israel that He spared them from judgment “for the sake of my name, so that it would be profaned in the eyes of the nations.”  They deserved judgment, but God withheld it to protect His own reputation in the world—a reminder that God’s choice of Israel was never to be exclusive, but was to reach the whole world.  In verse 44, the Lord clarifies that He dealt with them “for the sake of my name rather than according to your evil ways.”  They didn’t get what they deserved—that’s mercy—because God was concerned about the bigger picture of His reputation in the world. 

Application

Two applications.

First, God cares about His reputation; so should we.  I wish Christians cared more about God’s reputation in the world!  So often we say or do things that reflect poorly on the Lord we claim to follow.  Our mission is to help people find and follow Jesus.  So we should care deeply about Jesus’ reputation; we should never be careless about it.  As His representatives, we have the ability to enhance His reputation or damage it by our words and actions.  Today, I want to live in such a way that God’s name is honored.  We should live “for the sake of His name.” 

Second, I’m praying that God will act “for the sake of His name.”  Often I pray for my sake.  Today, I am going to pray for His, as Jesus taught us.  “May Your name be hallowed; may Your Kingdom come; may Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  One of my repeated prayers has been for revival: that God will move in a fresh way that will bring lots of people into the Kingdom, and will bring honor to His name.

Prayer: Lord, send revival for the sake of Your name.  Help me to live well today for the sake of Your name.  Do great things for the sake of Your name!