Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 13, 2014

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 32:7-14.

“7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” 9 The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. 10 Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”

11 Then Moses entreated the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.” Exodus 32:7-14.

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Moses did not even try to make any excuses for the actions of the people of Israel. Moses did not try anything to lessen their guilt. God’s factual conclusion was completely correct: “behold, they are an obstinate people.” Verse 9.

But, Moses reminded God of His sake, His name, and the sake of His elect represented by Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.” Verse 14.

We see God refrain from punishment for His own sake and for the sake of His name throughout Scripture.

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.” Isaiah 48:11.

“But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.” Ezekiel 20:9.

“But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out.” Ezekiel 20:14.

“But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.” Ezekiel 20:22.

“Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.’” Ezekiel 20:44.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.” Ezekiel 36:22.

“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” Daniel 9:19.

Although most of the Scriptural references of God’s actions of refraining from punishment seem to be expressly stated to be for His own sake and for the sake of His name, we do see Scriptural references in today’s Scripture and in the following Scripture that God refrained from punishment for the sake of His elect.

“45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake,

And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.

46 He also made them objects of compassion

In the presence of all their captors.

47 Save us, O Lord our God,

And gather us from among the nations,

To give thanks to Your holy name

And glory in Your praise.

48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

From everlasting even to everlasting.

And let all the people say, “Amen.”

Praise the Lord!’ Psalm 106:45-48.

But, the references of God having mercy “for their sake” should not make us proud, but realize the purpose of God saving us: “To give thanks to Your holy name And glory in Your praise”. Psalm 106:48.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9.

Finally, we need to remember that we only receive mercy, because we are “in Christ”, so when God has mercy on us, it is for His own sake.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3.


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