‘For My Name’s Sake’

Why God acts to protect His holy name

I am Charlie Perry’s great grandson. That fact may not mean much today, but in my small hometown many years ago, it meant plenty.

Charles H. Perry was a man of impeccable integrity. He was highly esteemed by everyone who knew him or did business with him, and his reputation as a godly Christian followed him everywhere. People knew him to be kind, friendly, scrupulously honest, and always willing to lend a helping hand.

And if you were blessed enough to be related to Charlie Perry, you reaped the benefits of being associated with his good name, as my mother will attest to even today.

A good name extols a person’s character. The more reputable the individual, the better his name. King Solomon wrote, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1). Why? Perhaps because a reputation lives even beyond the grave.

Fifteen times the phrase For My name’s sake appears in the Bible (NKJV).

God has a “great name” (1 Sam. 12:22). Fifteen times the phrase For My name’s sake appears in the Bible (NKJV). God’s name extols His character. His integrity, reputation, holiness, and even His glory are all closely linked to His name. And often God acts to sanctify His name and prevent it from being disgraced.

A primary name of God is Elohim. According to Bible scholar Dr. William Allan Dean, “The name Elohim is made up of two Hebrew words. El means ‘the Strong One.’…Combined with this word ‘el’ is the word ‘alah,’ meaning to swear or to pledge oneself.”1 So Elohim exalts God as the One who can make a promise and has the strength to back it up.

For example, when the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, promising to give to his descendants a specific land, seed, and blessing forever, He had the power to make the promise and to keep it. God’s holiness and integrity, in fact, require that He do so. Why? “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned?” (Isa. 48:11).

Many people seem to misunderstand God’s motives. God often acts to protect His holy name. He has promised to restore Israel’s kingdom, not due to any merit on Israel’s part but, rather, for His name’s sake. It brings glory to Him to keep His promises. If He ever failed to keep a promise, He would be a liar or a weakling. He is neither. “God is not a man, that He should lie” (Num. 23:19). “Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” (Isa. 46:11).

God has concern for how His name is represented among the peoples of the earth. When Israel dishonored His name, God scattered them among the nations:

And they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name—when they said of them, “These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.” But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went (Ezek. 36:19–21).

He was concerned because the Gentiles were supposed to learn about the true and living God by observing Israel’s righteous behavior. In fact, when King Solomon dedicated the first Temple, he announced Israel’s mission: “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other” (1 Ki. 8:60).

Instead, Israel’s unrighteous, corrupt, immoral behavior produced a false picture of God and profaned His name, dishonoring His character.

God’s great name is linked to His glory. The word glory means “distinguished honor, praise, exalted reputation, something bringing praise, worshipful adoration, magnificence, splendor.” The apostle Paul instructed believers in Corinth, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Eating is not a spiritual activity, but even something so mundane should be done in a way that glorifies God. Nothing ever should be done to disgrace or discredit Him. Believers in Christ in particular should strive to maintain virtuous names because our reputations are linked to the Lord’s.

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In 1870 Lydia Baxter penned the lyrics of the hymn “Precious Name.” The words resonate as strongly today as they did then: “Precious Name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of Heaven.” God’s name is indeed the hope of Earth and joy of heaven. In this sorry world we live in, people desperately need to understand God’s character—His strength, faithfulness, amazing love, and gracious forgiveness. And the only way they see those qualities is through the people who bear His name.

Paul instructed the Christians at Corinth, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). As believers in Jesus, we represent the name, character, integrity, morality, and heart of the Lord in a hostile world.

There was a time when I couldn’t go anywhere without people recognizing me as Charlie Perry’s great grandson. And I was glad. But I’m happier today if people recognize me as a child of the Most High who belongs to Jesus, the “Shepherd and Overseer” of my soul (1 Pet. 2:25).

ENDNOTES
  1. Dr. William Allan Dean, The Names of God (Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia College of Bible, 1963), 2.

21 thoughts on “‘For My Name’s Sake’

    1. I am doing a Psalms 23 Bible Study with Jennifer Rothschild and week three’s, search of: ” His name’s sake$, and what this truly means…& finding your devotional, was so spiritually on point & parallels this week’s study too! I feel truly touched and my spirit and ❤️ blessed.

  1. Thank you for this clear and precise teaching which has increased my understanding of the “For My name sake. Blessings multiplied to you.

  2. Preparing a message on the 23rd Psalms and this helped set up the main point I want to expound upon in verse 3b.
    Thanks!

  3. Very good article…… Never really thought about His Name in this manner. I KNEW HIS NAME WAS ALL POWERFUL and was to be reverenced….but I always thought he was concerned about people more than His Name because He gave HIS LIFE FOR US SINNERS!!
    THANK YOU

  4. It’s wonderful, no wonder it said any that nameth the name of the Lord should depart from iniquity. Thanks

  5. Thank you for sharing this great insight on this: For His name sake.
    It was inspiring, the Lord help us to represent Him well. That we will be a picture of Jesus everywhere we go, and a letter written by Him. That the world could read. God bless you real good Amen.

  6. Thank you for expounding on these 4 powerful and often overlooked words. I pray that that we His children will glorify (bring distinguished honor and praise) His Name in all that we do, say, and think. In the US and the world, lost people need to see a true representation of Who He is through us. Please help me, Lord, to bear Your name as boldly and fearlessly as You bore my sin on the cross.

    1. Wow Kathy. Wow. “Please Help me, Lord, to bear Your Name as boldly and fearlessly as You Bore my sin on the Cross.” I am writing that out and taping it on my mirror so I can pray it every day. And I’m going to post it.
      Oh Kathy, that is perfect and a laser focus prayer.
      Thank you so very much. I hope you see this, as I see this post is from last year. Lord please Get it to Kathy and Encourage her with it and thank You for Speaking it through her to me today. In Jesus Name. Amen.

  7. Tom, thank you for your commitment and service to our Lord. Thank You Lord for Giving us this Anointed Word through Your servant, Tom, and for his faithfulness to bring it to us and for Leading me to it today and Bringing such Clarity to me through it.
    My prayer is Lord Help me to live my life for Your Name’s Sake. Help me to stay in that focus and bring Glory to Your Holy Name.
    Lord God please Bless Tom and his family and Protect them and Keep them, Increase Your Anointing and Continue to Use him Mightily and his family,
    For Your Name’s Sake.
    In Jesus Holy Name. Amen.

  8. Kathy: Thank you for this perfect prayer! It brought me under conviction for not living it better. I have copied it to remind me of its importance.

  9. This is very good; thank you! Yes, we were brought to salvation for “the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12). May we never forget it. He is seeking out and separating from the world a peculiar people, one that will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and will declare His Holy Name to the world. We bear this Name, may we represent and exhibit it well!!

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