But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they were living, in whose sight I had revealed Myself to Israel by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
I. REVELATION. God made himself known unto Israel in the land of Egypt. In this revelation were included:
2. Covenant, confirmed by oath.
3. Promise of deliverance from bondage; further promise of a land flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands.
II. COMMAND. One great duty Jehovah laid upon his chosen and covenant people - the duty of abandoning the idolatry, whose evil effects they had witnessed among the Egyptians. They could not consistently receive the Divine revelation, and at the same time be guilty of idolatry, which in all its forms was a contradiction of the worship and service of the one living and true God. Idolatry was not only dishonouring to Jehovah; it was a defilement of all who took part in its practices.
III. REBELLION. Notwithstanding the grace displayed in the revelation, notwithstanding the authority accompanying the command, the chosen and favoured nation rebelled. The circumstances of the case, when considered, render this all the more marvellous. Although the superior power of the God of their fathers had been so conspicuously displayed, "they did not forsake the idols of Egypt." Such conduct was both treason and rebellion in one.
IV. THREATENING. The truly human manner in which the prophet, in this and similar places, speaks of the Eternal leads some readers to charge him with anthropomorphism. The language used of a man might imply vindictiveness; and, taken in connection with what follows, might even imply mutability and fickleness. The Divine "fury "and "anger" may not be free from emotion, but such language is mainly intended to convey the impression that the law of righteousness exists, and that it cannot be violated and defied with impunity, either by nations or by individuals.
V. RELENTING AND SALVATION. The ground upon which Jehovah bore with his sinful people is remarkable; it was "for his own Name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen." For this reason he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt. Their emancipation was owing, not to any daring of their own, not to any heroism of their leaders, not to any fortunate conjunction of circumstances, but to the interposition of Almighty power. - T.
I wrought for My name's sake.
I. SOME REASONS FOR THIS RULE OF THE DIVINE PROCEDURE. The steps of the reasoning, whereby a moral necessity (as it were) is imposed upon God, to consult first the glory of His own name, as distinguished from anything He should see in His creatures, appear to us to be both simple and conclusive. For what is a part of God must have more glory than that which comes from God, seeing that the glory of the one is original and the glory of the other is derived. Another reason to be offered for this rule of the Divine procedure is, that God designs to show to us, that in all the deliverances He has hitherto wrought, or any which He may be expected hereafter to work, He could be influenced by no considerations foreign to Himself: to show that He would put forth or withdraw His arm, according as He did or did not apprehend dishonour would be charged upon the rectitude of His government, or "His name be polluted in the sight of the heathen, from whom He brought them forth." We have yet another reason to urge why the glory of His own name should be chosen by God as the governing principle of His administration, in preference to seeking for that governing principle in anything that man does, or in anything that man is: that by so choosing He gives to men themselves the only security they can have, that the administration of heaven shall be free from all inconstancy, from all fluctuation, and from all change. It would not, however, we think, be sufficient that we should merely justify the principle laid down in our text, that in all which God hath done He hath "wrought for His name's sake"; the solemnity and frequency with which we see it repeated seem to require from us a distinct recognition, that it is designed to exert some direct influence on our faith and practice. And this influence we take to be, that in all our judgments of His ways, and in all our petitions for His help, we should have a uniform regard to that end, which He avows to be the ruling principle of the heavenly administration, namely, the glory of His own name. It is good to give back something of glory, for what hath been so largely bestowed of grace; and on all occasions of perplexity and of doubt which may arise, it will ever afford us comfort in the retrospect, to have known that we acted neither from ourselves, nor for ourselves, but that we "wrought for His name's sake." There is, however, another reason why we think God so frequently insists on the glory of His own name, as being the ruling principle of His government; and that is, because He would teach us that what is to Him the rule of action should be to us both a measure and a plea of prayer.
II. A FEW OBSERVATIONS IN EVIDENCE OF THIS.
1. God had an eye to His glory in the works of creation. It is obvious, that had the necessities of man been the only motive to the Divine beneficence, Deity might have provided for man a less noble theatre for the exercise of his powers, and a less gorgeous home for the place of his rest. His design in creation is to lead us from the seen to the unseen; from the measured to the infinite; from the top of heights, which sense would apprehend and scale, to the loftier pinnacle of "His own eternal power and Godhead."
2. God has never lest sight of this great end in the various departments of His providence. It may be true — it must be true — that seeing as we do only a part of our Maker's ways, the mere fragments of the stupendous plan, the detached pieces of providence, we shall be prone to ask, Wherein is God's name exalted here? But ye must wait to see these pieces of providence put together; ye must wait to see all the wheels and springs of the great Timepiece adjusted and fitted in; and then shall ye find that the most inscrutable act of the Divine administration formed one of the letters of His own great Name.
3. It was with a view to the glory of His own great name that the Creator of all the ends of the earth devised, effectuated, and wrought out the plan of man's redemption.
(D. Moore, M. A.)
(A. B. Davidson, D. D.)
PeopleEzekiel, Israelites, Jacob, Teman
PlacesBabylon, Bamah, Egypt, Negeb
TopicsActed, Acting, Bring, Bringing, Dwelt, Egypt, Forth, Heathen, Honour, Israelites, Midst, Myself, Name's, Nations, Pollute, Polluted, Profaned, Revealed, Sake, Sight, Taking, Unclean, Worked, Wrought
Outline1. God refuses to be consulted by the elders of Israel
4. He shows the story of their rebellions in Egypt
19. in the desert
27. and in the land
33. He promises to gather them by the Gospel
45. Under the name of a forest he shows the destruction of Jerusalem
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 20:9
1185 God, zeal of
LibraryTen Reasons Demonstrating the Commandment of the Sabbath to be Moral.
1. Because all the reasons of this commandment are moral and perpetual; and God has bound us to the obedience of this commandment with more forcible reasons than to any of the rest--First, because he foresaw that irreligious men would either more carelessly neglect, or more boldly break this commandment than any other; secondly, because that in the practice of this commandment the keeping of all the other consists; which makes God so often complain that all his worship is neglected or overthrown, …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
Manner of Covenanting.
Questions About the Nature and Perpetuity of the Seventh-Day Sabbath.
Covenanting Sanctioned by the Divine Example.
The Old Testament Canon from Its Beginning to Its Close.
A Sermon on Isaiah xxvi. By John Knox.
The Covenant of Works
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