Friday, October 24

All in the name.....

Psalm 143 A psalm of David.
" O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah. Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant"

Another installment in the 'stretching your mind and your faith' from Andrew and Garry, the writers and drivers behind the Men to Men blog. Still digging into the Psalm 143 written by David, we are asked some additional questions.....

What did David ask God to do in verses 9 and 12?

Of course, that one is easy......rescue and the total destruction of his enemies.....'Silence' and 'destroy'. As we can see in the verses referenced: "Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you." and "In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant." David wants total and complete removal of his 'situations' under God's power. To vanish without recurrence, never again to trouble David's head again.

The next question, What reasons did he cite (check verse 11) for why God should rescue him?

Geez, I thought it was going to be we can see in the reference, for God "name's sake," as expressed; "For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble."

But, what does that mean......."for your name's sake." Why would David be so concerned to declare God should rescue him because God's name might be tarnished? The omnipotent God? Come on! There's no way......yet, David calls out for rescue based on that declaration.

I guess one could make a case that David gives more reasons that just for "your name's sake" as justification for immediate and total rescue from God over his enemies and foes. He reflects in verses 9-12, such personal pluses as "I hide myself in you", "I am your servant", "I have put my trust in you", and "I lift up my soul". All good and worthy efforts in the pursue of God.....we are all servants who trust in God to deliver His promise and we lift our soul's to a higher standard than the lost......even if we fail to stay in such lofty places.

My grandfather drilled into me the honor, glory, and uniqueness of my family name, traced back to a Dutch philosopher named Hugo de Groot, who (as best I can discover) was commonly referred to as Huigh de Groot (Dutch) or Hugo Grotius.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition, list this notable figure who lived from 1583 to 1645, as a Dutch jurist and humanist who is often referred to as the father of international law. Grotius was a leading student of theology and biblical criticism, professing natural rights, where things are good or bad by their own nature, breaking from the prevailing Calvinistic theology that God was the only source of ethical qualities.

On May 18, 1619, this would land Grotius in prison for life, due to a Calvinist coup d'├ętat in August that led to his arrest. Several years later though, in 1621, Grotius escapes to Antwerp and eventually to Paris.

Grotius' political literary works include a treatise, The Law of Prizes, for the East India Company (defending Dutch trading and sailing rights), one chapter of which was published under the title Mare liberum (The Free Sea) in 1609, though the rest would remain unpublished until its discovery in 1864; published until its discovery in 1864; 1610, in De antiquitate reipublicae Batavae (The Antiquity of the Batavian State), written in 1610, in which he argued Holland was sovereign and independent since the times of the Romans.

His theological literary works include such heavy tomes as "Prolegomena to the Law of War and Peace" and "De Jure Belli ac Pacis (On the Law of War and Peace)" published in 1625; "True Religion Explained and Defended against the Archenemies Thereof in the Times (The Truth of the Christian Religion)", published in 1632; and "De Jure Praedae (Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty)", published in 1968.

At the end of an eventful life, Hugo Grotius dies from exhaustion on August 28th, 1645 in Rostock, Germany. The final word of this famous figure is "By understanding many things, I have accomplished nothing."

Upon the shores of a new country, Joseph Hutson began the American legacy of the de Groot family in the 1800's. My grandfather would impress upon me the importance of keeping the 'family name' honorable and clear of stain, though I would fail to do so for most of my life.

Throughout the Psalms, this reference of 'name's sake' is made over and over, about ten times, like Psalm 23:3, "He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.", or Psalm 79:9, "….deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake".
Psalm 106:8 seems to highlight a bit of reason behind such actions by God, "Yet he saved them for his name's sake, to make his mighty power known."

His name's sake is further developed in Isaiah 48:9, "For my own name's sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off."

God talks further about why this is important in Ezekiel 20:44, "You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD"

But this phrase is more than just God emphasizing the authority behind His name's sake, the righteousness and incorruptibility of His holiness. It is through and because of His name's sake that we are saved by grace.

Romans 1:5 "Through Him and for His name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith."

So, maybe this is why Andrew and Garry chose to highlight that one important and life-altering reason as to why God should move to rescue and destroy David's foes……….not for the health, wealth, or fame of David. Not for his future goals both personal and kingdom purposed. No, something much greater and more powerful than being a servant, keeping the trust, and hiding oneself within the grace and mercy of God's powerful hands.

Deuteronomy 4:29-39 perhaps captures the essence of God's 'name sake:

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath. Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today. Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other."

Because, it is because of who God is, and the holiness and authority by which His name, I AM, is known. The absolute authority of His holiness and righteousness, through which He can deliver the promise of redemption through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, and by 'His name's sake' be unchallenged in his authority to do so.

1 John 2:12 (NASB) "……..your sins have been forgiven you for His name's sake."

We have been forgiven under, by, and because of "His name's sake."

For personal ponderance, Andrew and Garry ask......

"Can you tell some reasons why God should rescue you in your present situations?"

And just another thought to close this with……the difference between a worldly, wicked man and a righteous, God-fearing man is the direction in which they run when fear and persecution rear their heads.

Each man has a choice as the grips of fear and failure encircle their hearts. One with no hope will run in flight from such a heavy obstacle while a man of God will stand, with hope, to fight against such as these.


Because the hope he has in the God I AM, Jehovah, is not secured by worldly assurance or the enemy's defeat, but is secured by the authority, holiness, and absoluteness of God's name.

Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."

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