“For you are my rock and my fortress. Therefore for thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me”. Psalms 31:3. Psalms 18:2, “the Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. My God, my strength, in whom I trust. My shield and the horn of my salvation and stronghold. Psalms 23:3, “he restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”. Psalms 25:11, “for your name’s sake, o Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Matthew 10:22, “and you will be hated by all for My name’s sake”. Acts 9:16, “for I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake”. Revelation 2:3, “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary”.
This phrase, “for thy name’s sake” is used 17 times in the OT and 10 times in NT as best I could find. When you look at the definition of each word, each carries a variety of means, but when put together one thought.
To “name” is to give a title to. Luke 1:60, “his mother answered and said, no. he shall be called John. Vs. 63, “his name is John. It’s the action of giving a name to a person or thing. The word “name’s carries with it a variety of meanings according to Strong’s in the OT. To standing out to be clear, seen, visible, attracting notice or attention were some of the original meaning. Strong’s then says it came to mean honor, authority, character, renown, report.
Isaiah 9:6, “ and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Defining the character of such a one. All these definitions define who God is. So when the Psalmist refers to him as, “my rock and my fortress” he is merely describing a characteristic of the Mighty One. That by which He is called.
The word “sake” means to respond, speak, testify, announce, and give account, to witness, heed, on account of, because. So we understand fully the phrase, “for his name’s sake” and what it means. Because of who Christ is, His character, authority, power, we are to respond to him by being witnesses, testifying, giving account to, trusting.
III John 5-7, “beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers. Who have borne witness of your loved before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well. Because they went forth for his name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles”.
I John 2:12, “I write unto, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake”. Sins are forgiven, because that is who God is and we proclaim that of him, his character, power by being witnesses for him.
John 15:21, “ but all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake, because they do not know him who sent me”. There is a price to be paid for witnessing for “his name’s sake” when we proclaim who God is and his character and his commandment that define who he is. Question being, are we doing this?
- CL Bruner