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His Great Name

Ezekiel 36:23 (ESV) … “And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.”

Names were very important in the Old Testament, since they usually carried a particular meaning and significance. A name represented not just the identity of a person, but the person himself. God is so concerned about the significance of his own name that he explicitly forbids its misuse (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11). God is Holy. That means he is separated, “set apart,” from all that is evil, and even from what is common or ordinary. Since his identity cannot be separated from his name, it, too, is holy.

But God’s holy name has been profaned, made to seem unholy, common, or ordinary. God’s people had profaned his name by their wickedness—by child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21), by swearing falsely (19:12), in their dress and appearance (21:5, 6), and in their disobedience (22:31–33). They have profaned God’s name in their idol worship (Ezekiel 20:39) and sexual immorality (Amos 2:7). God promises to sanctify his name by making it holy, to make observers see that he is different from all of the make-believe gods. [1]

Today, we must beware lest we profane the name of God in our lives, even more so as we carry His name in our person, the name Christian. It is easy to bring dishonor upon the Lord. We do this when we fail to live up to his will and want for our lives. We must not treat the name of Christ with ordinary or ungrateful hands.

It is our duty, as children of the Lord, to bring honor and glory to the name of Jesus. How will you live out the name of God today? What will others say about God today because of how you lived for his name?

[1] Pechawer, L. (2008). Poetry and prophecy (Vol. 3, pp. 203–204). Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing.

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