For the Sake of His Name

July 8, 2009 at 9:35 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, It's All About God | Leave a comment

Psalm 25:11.  I was awake for a long time last night before I finally got up to read.  I read Psalm 25 and pondered this verse.  For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.”  I’d had a bad attitude about something yesterday, so certainly I thought about my great iniquity.  But mostly I thought about that phrase “for the sake of your name,” and it reminded me of some other verses I know.  “I, even I, am he who wipes out your transgressions, for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)  “He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”  (Psalm 23:3)  “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” (Psalm 31:3)

          It struck me as interesting that these four verses address two issues that Christians often think God does for them – guidance and forgiveness.  I naturally think that forgiveness is a benefit God gives me primarily for my eternal good; though it is for that, my eternal good is not the main reason God forgives.  I also think of guidance primarily in terms of my own good, both in eternity and in the present.  Though it certainly is for my good now and forever, my good is not the main reason God guides.  God does both these things for his own glory.  As always, it’s not about me; it’s all about God.

          When I feel guilty about sin, I confess in part because I don’t want to feel guilty any longer, and certainly God uses guilty feelings that way.  But it never occurs to me to pray for God’s glory in forgiving my sin.  When I ask for God’s guidance, I ask because I want to know what I should do; I want to know how I can get through a certain situation; I want to know how God will meet my needs.  It rarely occurs to me to pray for God’s glory in the situation for which I’m seeking guidance.  O that my prayer and my attitude would be the same as Isaiah’s and David’s in these verses: for the sake of your name, O LORD!

          Later I did a cross reference and found these related thoughts: “Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.” (Psalm 79:9)  “Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.” (Psalm 106:8)  “For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off.” (Isaiah 48:9 – but read 10-11 too!)  “Although our sins testify against us, O LORD, do something for the sake of your name.” (Jeremiah 14:7)  It’s all about God; even our forgiveness and our guidance are ultimately about God’s glory.

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