“Then I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they went. Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: It is not for your sake that I will act, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you went.” Ezekiel 36:21-22 (HCSB)
Torn from the Promised Land, once beautifully flowing with milk and honey and now defiled by their own sin and disobedience, the children of Israel spent their days exiled in the land of the Babylonians. If there were cries of repentance and help to God, they could not be heard over the echoes of the nations’ scorn of the people, disdain for their land, and mockery of God’s Holy name. Loud and clear, over and over, God heard His name profaned among the nations and among His people. God was concerned about His name. Dare the nations say that it was by their own hands they captured Israel, thinking God to be puny and callous; that He had abandoned His own people? Dare His people say that He was forgetful, unrelenting, unjust, and had left them for dead? No! God would not have it!
Don’t be mistaken, God’s concern for His name is not a sign of weakness showing Him to be a petty God who is wounded by the latest gossip about who He is. God wants to protect His name, for in His name is His reputation, His character.
• His name is Holy. He will not let sin prevail in His presence (Ezekiel 36; 43:7-9).
• His name is Yahweh. He is the Covenant God. He has kept and will continue to keep the covenant He made with Abraham (Exodus 3:15).
• His name is Sovereign. He is sovereign over all–even Israel’s enemies (Ezekiel 25-32).
• His name is El Qanna. He is jealous for His people (Ezekiel 8:3; 23:25).
• His name is El Roi. He sees the condition of His beloved (Ezekiel 34:12).
• His name is Jehovah-jireh. He provides for His people even while in exile.
• His name is Jehovah-shalom. He brings peace (Ezekiel 34:25).
• His name is Jehovah-raah. The Good Shepherd (Ezekiel 34).
• His name is Jehovah-shammah. He is always there (Ezekiel 48:35).
• His name is Jehovah-rapha. The One who heals (Ezekiel 34:16)
• In His name is the Hope of Restoration. He will restore to His people what once was Ezekiel 33-48; 36:35).
• His Name is Love. He acts and moves in love–deeply and passionately to restore man back to Himself (John 3:16).
God could not allow His name to be profaned and so for His name’s sake, He responded to the plight of His people. He told them that He would bring them back to their land and restore it. He would cleanse and give them a new heart for His name’s sake. He would give them His Spirit and they would be His people and He would be their God. He would rebuild what was once destroyed and they would no longer be a reproach to the nations. It would not be because of any good and righteous thing they have done, but He would do this for His name’s sake (Ezekiel 36:24-38).
My friend, God loves you. He wants to heal and restore. He wants to rebuild that broken relationship, bring you back to that place of sweet fellowship with Him, soften that hardened heart, cleanse that area of sin in your life, and plant something brand new in you. He wants to destroy those strongholds and provide nourishment for your spiritual famine, for His name’s sake.
If it were for our names’ sake, our tough days would seem endless and filled with sleepless nights like never-ending storms; our difficult circumstances would look hopeless and the thought of joy restored merely a pipedream. If it were for our names’ sake, we would have died in our sin and be eternally cut off from the presence of God–never having the gift of salvation. Praise the Lord that for His Holy name’s sake, in the midst of our sin, He extended grace and mercy to us, through Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:8) For His name’s sake we are set free!
“I will honor the holiness of My great name, which has been profaned among the nations–the name you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am Yahweh”–the declaration of the Lord God–”when I demonstrate My holiness through you in their sight.” Ezekiel 36:23 (HCSB)
By Abigail George