Scripture: verse 14
Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest…to make for [Himself] a glorious name.
Observation: God leads us through hard stuff sometimes. Just like the shepherd who carries a map of the mountains in his head, which is far too complex for the sheep to understand, God can see where we are going when we cannot. He keeps us from stumbling in the desert. He leads us to the valley and gives us rest. On account of His glorious name.
My husband played Bill Sykes in a high school production of Oliver! His big song was called “My Name” and it was about all the awful things that Sykes had done on account of his name. Some toff slumming with his valet/Bumped into me in the alley/Now his eyes will never tally/He’d never heard of my name. He hadn’t done that for any particular reason (he may have robbed the men, but that’s not why he attacked), but just to make a name for himself.
God seems to be the same way. He doesn’t particularly need a reason to feed us and teach us and give us new sight. He does those things because of His Name.
Application: Don’t slum with your valet 🙂
Prayer: God, I praise you because of your glorious name. I praise you because you have done praiseworthy things over and over and over again. I praise you because you have already mapped all the mountains I am negotiating. Thank you for keeping me from stumbling. Help me to see. Amen.
Scripture: from verse 5
…another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord‘s’…
Observation: The passage is about the future redeemed Israel, and how the people will identify themselves as belonging to the Lord. It’s interesting that I got this verse today, because today I also prayed for a friend who is going through a difficult time and is questioning her self-worth. And the word I got for her was very similar: that she would go into her meeting with God’s name on her brow and his brand on her heart.
Our first identity is that we belong to the Lord. That means that He is the only one who can judge our worth: neither my friend’s supervisors nor my own self-doubts have any say over who we are and how we are doing. They make their opinions known, of course, but their words are just words. God’s words are eternal.
It also means that we take His glory when we take His name. The hymn says that “God the Just is satisfied/to look on Him and pardon me.” Accusation and criticism could attack me easily enough, but as long I am wrapped in Him, they can’t get to me. They bounce off Him, because I bear His name.
There’s no guilt here, no condemnation. He matters so much more than I do.
Application: Take His name. Rely on it.
Prayer: Yeshua, thank you for finding me and giving me your name. I praise you because all power and all consolation and all glory flows from you and in you. Please help me to hide in you when I am not enough in myself. Amen.
Scripture: from verse 8
The desire of all our soul
is to remember You and Your name.
Observation: …which is a bit ironic, really, since we don’t know God’s Name. But that’s neither here nor there.
Hebrews 4 talks about how all God asked of the Israelites was that they trust Him (the verb used is often translated “obey” but the Greek says “trust” or “believe”), but they could not trust Him and were unable to enter His rest.
The problem with brains, of course, is that they forget about God. No matter how many times God tells me that I am valuable and holy and protected, I still turn around and get insecure and guilty and scared. When I forget God, I mostly get confused about life. When I remember Him, then I remember where I am and where the world is in relation to Him, and everything sets itself straight.
Application: Remember His name, enter His rest.
Prayer: Father, I praise you because you are the Proper Perspective through which I can see myself and my circumstances clearly. Thank you for telling me who I am and who you are. Help me to remember to trust you, even when life is scary and confusing. Amen.