For God’s Sake
Dear Lord, I think of the words from Your prayer, “Hallowed be your name.” May Your name be honored in my life.
Read Psalm 79:1-13
A psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.  They have left the dead bodies of your servants as food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.  They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury the dead.  We are objects of contempt to our neighbors, of scorn and derision to those around us.  How long, LORD? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire?  Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name;  for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland.  Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.  Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.  Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Before our eyes, make known among the nations that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.  May the groans of the prisoners come before you; with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.  Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.  Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does the psalmist relate the utter despair of the exiles?
Jerusalem has fallen to the mighty Babylonians. The psalmist looks around and sees God’s Temple defiled (1), God’s servants put to death (2,3), God’s people derided (4), God’s land destroyed (7). In the face of this utter desolation, the psalmist cries out for deliverance. But what is the basis of his appeal? God’s people don’t deserve salvation, for they have sinned (8,9). They are “in desperate need” (8b), but the psalmist’s premise is that disaster for God’s people also spells defeat for God, because God’s reputation is at risk before a watching world, before nations who will scoff, “Where is their God?” (10). It is not simply we who suffer, the psalmist suggests to God, but “your inheritance” (1), “your holy temple” (1), “your servants” (2), “your own people” (2). And so, his plea for deliverance is for God’s sake, “for the glory of your name…for your name’s sake” (9). God has entrusted his reputation into the hands of frail, flawed human beings. When we rebel, God’s reputation suffers. God says, “Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Lev. 19:1). For God’s sake, let’s live holy lives.
What changes will you make in speech, actions and lifestyle for God’s sake, to bring him honor and glory? Center your thoughts there.
Father, You can do extraordinary things in my life. Work through me to point people towards faith in Your Son Jesus.
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