Translations: Chinese GB Big5

For God's Name Sake

Isaiah 48:9,11
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. ... For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.


Comment

God acts to preserve His reputation. He acts for His own name sake. Notice for example in the 10 commandments, much of them have to do with respecting God 's nature, His authority and design. But in particular the third commandment has to do with respecting the Lord's name, alluding to His reputation. It is interesting that God is concerned about being defamed. So also in the 9th commandment He is concerned that other people not be defamed.

How was God's reputation being threatened? Simply that while Israel deserved to be destroyed, if He were to destroy Israel (cut you off), then He would have broken his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Recall for example how in interceeding for Israel, Moses recalled to God the covenant:

Ex 32:11-13 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’"
It is interesting that God is concerned about how He is perceived even by unbelievers or foreigners. If this is the case then we should also be concerned about how other people perceive God through us. Are we upholding God's reputation? Do we give the impression that God is faithful?


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