Why should God’s name and reputation matter to us? Last week I talked about the fact that we witness all the time no matter what. In other words, people watch our behavior all the time. Consequently, they often make decisions about not just Christians, but Christ based on our actions. So, although we need to grow closer to Christ so that the Holy Spirit can help to mold and shape us, we do need to watch our behavior too. I compared the impact our behavior has on others to the judgments that God placed on other nations that mocked Israel.
The impact of our behavior on others: a reminder
I’m still reading Ezekiel. His vision and prophecy included a restoration of the nation of Israel. What’s interesting though is some of God’s reasoning for doing so. In the very last verse of chapter 38, God says He will magnify and sanctify Himself and make Himself known in the sight of many nations. Why? So that He is known.
God’s name and reputation in the Bible
Then in Ezekiel 39:7, He says that He will make His holy name known in the midst of his people and not allow it to be profaned anymore. God makes a point that His name and reputation are pretty important to Him. This reminds me of Luke 19:38-40. This is during what is often called the triumphal entry. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a colt and the people are praising Him physically and very vocally.
The wording of their praise is very specific. “BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.” (NASB95) The reason it’s printed in all caps is that it is a direct quote from the Old Testament, in this case, Psalm 118:26. But note here the focus again on Him coming in the name of the Lord.”
What does this mean today?
Obviously His name is pretty important. And I want to emphasize that it is a consistent theme throughout the entire Bible. I talk much about the fact that the Bible is about relationship. It’s about God wanting to have a relationship with us. But we are also reminded sometimes of the difference between Him and us. I think we need to remember that special combination. He is so Holy that even His name is Holy and deserves our reverence and respect
This reverence and respect is akin to the concept of ‘fear of the Lord.’ Very often, we get caught up in the relationship part and forget the reverence. Or, we are so caught up on the reverence part that we forget the relationship part. But when we remember both parts at the same time, something special happens. Like David in Psalm 139, we realize just how beautiful and special it is that He wants us!
If you or someone you know struggles with being able to believe just how much they are loved, I can help! You can see my counseling page here.