Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
I believe it was Martin Luther who said that some verses are entire Bibles in themselves. Today’s verse is such a “Bible.” It contains the sole reason why God acts and it contains our temporal and eternal wellbeing. That’s the essence and totality of Scripture.
When we consider this verse, we see synonyms: “The glory of your name” and “for your name’s sake!” We also see two aspects of our temporal and eternal wellbeing: the atonement for our sins and God’s help.
The psalmist appealed to the very core of God’s motivation: the glory of His name. Throughout the Bible we see many approaching God, but not always in the proper manner. For example, the Pharisee came to God and said: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get” (Luke 18:11-12). He thought God was indebted to him. That’s never the case!
Therefore, self-righteousness doesn’t know and doesn’t appeal to God’s sole motivation: His own glory. It believes that God answers and acts for our sake. Isn’t that what all other religions and sects proclaim? The essence of self-righteousness is an ignorance and rejection of the sole reason why God answers and acts—His own glory.
The publican, however, deeply knew he had no claim before God. If God were to act on his behalf it would be based on His mercy alone: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). That prayer is also synonymous with God acting for the glory of His name. It has no pretensions at all.
How about us? Do we truly know and deeply feel that our only hope is the glory of God’s name? Do we realize that both our forgiveness and God’s daily assistance are fully related to God acting for His name’s sake? That’s why Paul referred to the gospel—God’s good news—as “the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). The totality of the gospel is fully related to His glory. That’s really good news!
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“