For the last couple of days, the Holy Spirit has been leading me, primarily through Psalm 31.
When I read it on Thursday night, v3 seemed to leap off the page at me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me. (NASB)
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. (NLT)
For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me. (NKJV)
Immediately, I remembered Ps 23 and the “His name’s sake in it”
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. (NASB)
One time previously, when I was reading Psalm 23, I was led to ponder that I might also read “For His name’s sake” with v4 instead of v3
“For His name’s sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (NASB)
In fact, when I precede previous and subsequent verses with “For His name’s sake”, there is an “Amen” in my spirit
“For His name’s sake, He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; (NASB)
“For His name’s sake, Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
See how well it fits!
So I began to wonder if “For His name’s sake” is really the center of the psalm.
The other verse that immediately came to mind was part of the description of why we needed Holy Spirit, and what He would do, in John 16:13
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (NASB, emphasis mine)
I always write this in any bible that I give away. We have the promise in Isaiah 55:11
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (NASB emphasis mine)
So God’s Word will do a work in our lives, if we recognize the Holy Spirit or not. But, oh, to ask for Him to lead us into all truth.
I can’t do a whole word study here on the phrases “for His name’s sake” or “for Your name’s sake” as well as “for the sake of His name”, “for the sake of Your name” and “My name’s sake” but the way that Ps 31:3 puts it, turns out some really interesting verses.
1 Kings 8:41 (part of Solomon’s pray for the dedication of the temple)
He said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, … (v23 NASB)
“Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, (v41-43 NASB)
For Your name’s sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. (NASB)
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake. (NASB)
But You, O GOD, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake (NASB)
O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, Do it for Your name’s sake;
For our backslidings are many, We have sinned against You. (NKJV)
With the Jeremiah passage, we may wonder what “do it” means. Other translations use “act” instead. I believe that Jeremiah loved God so much that he was imploring Him to act in defense of His own name. So that Israel’s iniquities wouldn’t tarnish God’s name. What that action is, may not be clear. But Jeremiah cared.
1 John 2:12 says (answering the plea in Ps 79:9)
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. (NASB)
But, especially when it comes to our coming home, it is very good to know that He leads me, for His name’s sake. That doesn’t mean that I may not be wrong, or make mistakes along the way. But, He will lead me for His name’s sake.