7 Minute Read
TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
1 Samuel 2:22–4:22
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Psalm 106:8 (CSB): “Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his power known.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Every decision we make demonstrates what we believe to be the most important thing.
- We may say “no” to reading a book and “yes” to watching television.
- We may say “no” to a healthy snack and “yes” to a big bowl of ice cream.
- We may say “no” to one job offer and “yes” to another job offer.
On and on we could go in demonstrating how our decisions make it clear what is important to us.
But what if I asked you, “What is the absolute most important thing in your life? What person or thing or activity ALWAYS takes precedence over everything else?” What would your answer be?
- The Lord?
- Your family?
- Your health?
- Your job?
Almost certainly, we would all answer that question differently.
Now, let’s redirect this question: Suppose you are standing in front of the Lord and you ask Him, “What is the most important thing to you?” What do you suppose He would say?
Fortunately, the Bible isn’t silent about what is most important to God. God’s highest priority is Himself.
In the Old Testament, when it says that God is doing things for “His Name’s sake,” it means that He is acting on behalf of who He is. He is protecting His honor. Why? Because He is the most important priority in His eyes.
After all, while God loves us and values us, if He valued us more than Himself, He would be putting the inferior above the superior.
Valuing Himself above all else is what He has called us to do and what He, Himself, does. Why? Because there is nothing greater or better than Him.
Let me overwhelm you with some of the verses in the Old Testament that make it clear that God’s highest priority, Himself, is His reason for acting. It is also the motivation a worshiper uses to ask God to step into a situation and act.
And remember as you read the following verses that the “Lord’s Name” is a designation used to speak of who God is. It encompasses everything about Him.
Psalm 23:3 (CSB): “He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 25:11 (CSB): “LORD, for the sake of your name, forgive my iniquity, for it is immense.”
Psalm 31:3 (CSB): “For you are my rock and my fortress; you lead and guide me for your name’s sake.”
Psalm 79:9 (CSB): “God of our salvation, help us—for the glory of your name. Rescue us and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake.”
Psalm 109:21 (CSB): “But you, LORD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake; because your faithful love is good, rescue me.”
Psalm 143:11-12 (CSB): “For your name’s sake, LORD, let me live. In your righteousness deliver me from trouble, and in your faithful love destroy my enemies. Wipe out all those who attack me, for I am your servant.”
Jeremiah 14:7 (CSB): “Though our iniquities testify against us, LORD, act for your name’s sake. Indeed, our rebellions are many; we have sinned against you.”
Jeremiah 14:21 (CSB): “For your name’s sake, don’t despise us. Don’t disdain your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us; do not break it.”
Ezekiel 20:9 (CSB): “But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations they were living among, in whose sight I had made myself known to Israel by bringing them out of Egypt.”
Ezekiel 20:14 (CSB): “But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.”
Ezekiel 20:22 (CSB): “But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I brought them out.”
Ezekiel 20:44 (CSB): “You will know that I am the LORD, house of Israel, when I have dealt with you for the sake of my name rather than according to your evil ways and corrupt acts. This is the declaration of the Lord GOD.”
These are just a sampling of the many passages of Scripture that cause us to realize that God acts to protect His Name. Worshipers offer up prayers that are in the best interest of God’s Name.
Over and over in the Bible, we see that God is “uppermost in His affections.”
“God’s own glory is uppermost in his own affections. In everything he does, his purpose is to preserve and display that glory. To say his glory is uppermost in his own affections means that he puts a greater value on it than on anything else. He delights in his glory above all things.” – John Piper (“Desiring God”)
God truly sets Himself above all else and acts on His desire to demonstrate and protect His glory.
After all, friend, don’t we want a God who delights to focus on His glory? Don’t we want the God we serve to actively work to maintain His glory and honor?
Imagine going to a theme park where the park’s leadership took no pride in their park. That mindset would allow for the theme park to deteriorate. After a while, people would no longer find joy in visiting the park.
But, then imagine a theme park where the leadership took pride in their destination. Their park was their priority and they constantly worked to make sure it stayed in top shape and provided an incredible experience for everyone who visited.
Which park would you want to visit? Would you want to go to the one where the leadership took no pride in their park or the one where the leadership made their park their highest priority? The answer is obvious.
In some ways, this illustrates how God’s priority of Himself is exactly what we, as worshipers, desire. He has made himself His highest priority and we benefit!
I would encourage you to open your eyes to this wonderful principle found all over the pages of Scripture. As you read through your Bible, keep your eyes open to how God’s highest priority is Himself.
And then join Him in making Him your highest priority as well.