It happened Thursday morning that my reading from Daily Light on the Daily Path intersected with my Bible reading. The Daily Light passage for September 28 is as follows:
They shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. Numbers 6:27.
O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. Isaiah 26:13. We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name. Isa. 63:19.
All people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. Deut. 28:10. The LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. I Sam. 12:22
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. Dan. 9:19. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? Psalm 79:9,10. The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Prov. 18:10.
Obviously, what those verses all have in common is God’s name, and there are multitudes more in the Bible. We may be somewhat familiar with the last one, but have we ever prayed for forgiveness, as Daniel did, or help, as Asaph did in Psalm 79, for God’s sake, for the sake of His name, for His glory? I have to admit, most often my focus is on my own need and wanting it resolved as soon as possible.
Part of my Bible reading was in Psalm 79 on this same day, which is quoted in this day’s Daily Light. According to my MacArthur Study Bible, this psalm was probably written after Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. He comments that in that time and culture, defeat of a nation was taken to mean the defeat of its god as well. Maybe that’s one reason God manifested Himself to Nebuchadnezzar later on – to show him that He had not been defeated, as well as to show him his need of Him.
Knowing those things magnifies the poignancy of OT saints being concerned for God’s name and, in sense, His reputation. God associated His name with Israel in a particular way. But what of NT saints, especially NT Gentile saints? What is our relationship to His name?
Are we called by His name?
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name…That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Acts 15:14, 17.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named… Ephesians 3:14-15.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19.
What benefits do we receive through His name?
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11.
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 1 John 2:12.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 8:20.
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24.
Do our actions reflect on His name?
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Acts 19:17.
For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you. Romans 2:24.
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Hebrew 6:10.
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? James 2:7.
Does His name influence our actions?
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20.
Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. Mark 9:37.
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. Acts 9:15.
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:5-6.
Because that for his name’s sake they went forth…3 John 7.
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Revelation 2:2-3.
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith…Revelation 2:13a.
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:8.
What might it cost us to bear His name?
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. Matthew 24:9.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 1 Peter 4:14.
I hope these verses encourage you, as they do me, to enlarge my vision in my prayers, my life, and my actions to concern for His name.
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Matthew 12:21.
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.