referencing The Lord is my Shepherd…
The first time I pondered this scripture, what I saw in this phrase, “for His name’s sake” was selfishness. But because I know that selfishness is inconsistent with the very nature of God and I have also experienced the selfless, “reckless” love of God, I decided to explore this phrase further and I came to understand it from another scripture:
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Psalm 31:3 NIV
When I read this scripture, I understand the psalmist is saying, “God I call you my rock and my fortress and so because this is who you are and to be consistent with and protect the integrity of your name, lead and guide me”. That is what “for His name’s sake” means to me. Lets read that verse in context
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23: 3b ESV
From the previous lesson, we identified that Jesus is the WAY, the narrow path that leads to life everlasting (Matthew 7: 13-14), and the gate that we must enter if we are to be saved (John 10:9). We also know that Jesus is our RIGHTEOUSNESS… And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’ (Jeremiah 23: 6 NASB)
His name is Our Righteousness (Jehovah Tsidkenu). His name is the Way. His name is Jesus (God our Salvation). He is our Shepherd and naturally, all shepherds lead and guide their sheep. In keeping with His name, He can only lead us on righteous paths. So when the psalmist says “for His name’s sake”, he is acknowledging who God is and the fact that God’s character cannot go contrary to His name. The psalmist is inadvertently saying, “God you are my Shepherd and as a shepherd, it is in your nature to lead. So because this is who you are, for the sake of your name [by virtue of your name, to preserve the integrity of your name], lead me in the path of righteousness.
Jesus has the most powerful name in heaven and on earth (Philippians 2: 9). There is healing in His Name. There is wholeness in His name. There is favor in His name. There is deliverance in His name. There is provision in His name. There is love in His name. There is peace in His name. There is joy in His name. Everything we need is in His name.
So dear reader, when next you pray or say this psalm dare to add “FOR YOUR NAME’S SAKE“. Ask God to hear your request from heaven simply because He is the God that hears (Delasi)…. For His Name’s Sake!