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For the Sake of God’s Reputation

by J. M. Farro on November 5th, 2023

   “He leads me down the right paths for the sake of His reputation.”  Psalm 23:3 NET

   Psalm 23 is a passage that most Christians are familiar with.  We have all heard the third verse, where David says, “[The Lord] leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (NKJV)  I pray this verse over myself and others so frequently that I decided to do an in-depth study of it.

   I discovered that in the Hebrew language, this verse can be interpreted as, “He leads me down the right paths for the sake of His reputation.” (Psalm 23:3 NET)  In other words, the Lord leads us along paths that are good for us, for the honor of His own name.  As one Bible commentator puts it – What does it do to the Shepherd’s name, to His reputation, if He leads His sheep off a cliff?  Wouldn’t His reputation be damaged if He leads His flock into a pack of wolves that would devour them?  God’s name is exalted when He delivers His people from evil!  Jesus Himself prayed to the Father, “Deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13 ESV)

   In Psalm 106, the author recounts Israel’s long history of rebellion against God.  Verse 8 reveals why the Lord still worked wonders on their behalf.  “Yet He delivered them for the sake of His reputation, that He might reveal His power.” (Psalm 106:8 NET)

   Because we belong to the Lord, even when we make mistakes and get off track, we can ask Him to lead us out of trouble for the sake of His own reputation.  If you are in a painful place today, you can pray with confidence – “O Sovereign Lord, intervene on my behalf for the sake of Your reputation!  Because Your loyal love is good, deliver me!”  (Psalm 109:21 NET)

   Lord, when I make mistakes and get off track, lead me out of trouble for the sake of Your reputation.  Teach me what is best for me, and direct me in the way I should go. (Isaiah 48:17 NIV)  Help me to believe with all my heart that Your will for me is always good, pleasing, and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NIV)  Thank You that as I cling to You and Your Word, You will lead me down the right paths for the sake of Your reputation!

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