What does it mean when God says, "for My Name's sake"?


Psalms 23:3

NKJV - 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

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Data Danny Hickman

God's "reputation." Psalm 109:21 is a good study for this; Bible translations can often determine the meaning we get from the scriptures.

The NKJV version reads: But You, O God the Lord, deal with me for your "name's sake." The NIV uses the same wording, name's sake. The same with the ESV.

BUT, the NLT reads thusly: But deal with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own "reputation!"

The punctuation is also different. The NLT features an exclamation mark; the others use a semicolon.

The psalmist goes on to tell of God's reputation for being faithful and good, and as having love that never fails.

While all of this is true, I don't think God is as concerned about his reputation as the people are who put their trust in him. The way I read this psalm, David is reminding God of his perception of God's character. He's telling God that he, God, has a reputation to protect, and the way to do it is to rescue him, but to punish the wicked who slanders David.

God's reputation is seen one way by those who know him personally, and completely the opposite by those who only stand in judgment of him. He doesn't heal on every occasion, so when we say 'He's a healer' the unbeliever tells of the many times when he doesn't heal. We say 'He's a way maker,' and the unbeliever has a story of the time God did not make a way!

None of the unbelievers' accusations against God tarnishes his reputation. That's because his reputation isn't his concern; his purpose is.

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