The leaders of Israel come to Ezekiel. They ask him to enquire of the Lord for them. They want to know if there is any fresh direction or revelation for them. When God answers, they get more than they expected.
God goes through a list of their history as a nation. He talks about all that He did for them and how each time they turned away from Him and turned to idols. Each time they sinned, God planned on pouring out his fury on them and wiping them out. But each time God refrained from giving them what they deserved.
Why would God be gracious to them? Why would He repeatedly allow them to sin against Him and do nothing about it? God says it was “for his name’s sake” (v.9,14,22,44).
He did not want His actions toward His people to cause His name to be polluted in the sight of the heathen. All the nations around Israel knew about their God. They knew that they were a unique people who had been formed by the power of their God. And so, as they watched what happened to them and what God did with them, the name and the glory of God was at stake.
It is humbling to realize that nothing that God does with us is because of us. There is no goodness or merit in us that would cause God to love us or be gracious to us. The only reason God did anything for Israel was for the glory of His name, and the only reason God does any for us for the glory of His name.
Ephesians 1 makes this clear when he explains all that God does for us in salvation is “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (v.6,12,14). God wants everyone to know of His grace and His glory and His name. He has worked and is working for “His name’s sake”. And we too should be living for “His name’s sake”.
Whose name are you living for? Yours or His? May the great name of our God be the thing we live for today!