Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 2, 2017

“It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name”

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 20.  Here is a link to this chapter –

I quote only the following verses.

and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God, on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.  I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt;  I am the Lord your God.’  But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me;  they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.  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 20:5-9.


The sad, repetitive history of Israel is described by the LORD in today’s Scripture.  The LORD uses similar language for similar time periods.  Israel rebelled against the LORD and served idols.  The LORD resolved to pour out His wrath on them.  But, the LORD acted for the sake of His name (and spared Israel rather than annihilating them) so that His name would not be profaned in the sight of the nations. 

Nevertheless, other doctrine, following its wishes and man-centered view, leads its disciples to believe that the LORD acts for our sake.

But, Reformed Doctrine, following Scripture and its God-centered view, leads its disciples to believe that the LORD acts for the sake of His name.  

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.  I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst.  Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.”  Ezekiel 36:22-23.

Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.  I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God, “let it be known to you.  Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!”  Ezekiel 36:31-32.

“He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.”  Psalm 23:3.

“For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.”  Psalm 25:11.

“For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.”  Psalm 31:3.

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.”  Psalm 79:9.

Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;
They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses,
But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name,
That He might make His power known.”  Psalm 106:7-8.

“But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake;
Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me;”  Psalm 109:21.

“For the sake of Your name, O Lord, revive me.
In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.”  Psalm 143:11.

“You have not heard, you have not known.
Even from long ago your ear has not been open,
Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously;
And you have been called a rebel from birth.
“For the sake of My name I delay My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain it for you,
In order not to cut you off.
10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 “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 48:8-11.


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