This morning I am chewing on the lengths to which God will go for the sake of His Name. Reading in Ezekiel 36 and 37 . . . and it’s kind of a no win for God.
Israel’s rebellion and spiritual adultery has profaned God’s holy name. The people who were called to come out of the nations and be separated unto the LORD, have not. In fact, by taking “the best” of the pagan practices from all the nations around them, they’ve become the worst. And so, God’s holy name is desecrated by the those He had called to be His holy people.
So what’s a holy and just God to do? He must judge sin. Rebellion and adultery demand wrath. So God judges their sin and scatters them among the nations. But that poses another problem when it comes to God’s name.
But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned My holy name , in that people said of them, “These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of His land.” (Ezekiel 36:20. ESV)
Don’t judge them and the name of God is tarnished because of their sin. Judge them and it says something about how “special,” or not, it is to be part of God’s chosen people. And so, for the sake of His holy name, and in order to vindicate His great name, God determines to do something beyond anyone’s imagination. He redeems a people who had turned their backs on Him.
He determines to gather His scattered flock . . . to cleanse them from their sin with a water He will provide Himself . . . to give them a new heart which is turned toward Him . . . to take up residence within their very spirits and souls through His own Holy Spirit . . . to bring them into the land of promise . . . and to be their God so that they might be His people. All that people might know that He is LORD. All for the sake of His holy name.
It is the Name that a world dead in sin desperately needs too know. And God goes to great lengths to make His name known.
For at the core of His plan to redeem a people is the necessity for sin’s wages to be paid in full. In order for God to justly and righteously call a sinful people to Himself, their sin must be atoned for. And the foundation upon which God’s name is held up as holy is the death and resurrection of His One and Only Son. The wages of sin paid in full . . . sin and death conquered forever . . . the Holy Spirit poured out without measure.
All for the sake of His holy name. And for the benefit of those who respond to the call to be His holy people.
All for the glory of the Name . . . All through the out-pouring of grace . . .
To Him be praise forever. Amen?