July 14, 2006

God's Name Will Be Great

Malachi 1:8-14

"My name will be great among the nations ... For I am a great King," says the LORD. Malachi 1:11, 14


Names are interesting. They can sound funny to us, as when I first heard of a Filipino whose nickname was "Bing Bong." But then my name sounded even funnier to him, since "Tim" often sounded like "Dim."

Names are also powerful. Just think how much it can hurt to be called nasty names, or how you can build people up by giving them names of encouragement.

When God formed Israel to be his own people, his own name became associated them. The same is true for every one of us who is known as a Christian.

In Malachi's day the people of Israel hadn't done very well representing the name of their God. By tossing him blind animals for sacrifice and perpetrating injustice in their communities, the people had dragged God's name in the dirt.

Malachi's message comes as a rebuke but also as a promise. In spite of the people's disobedience, God promises, "My name will be great among the nations ... For I am a great King."

Look around your church and home today. How well is God's name honored there? How are you contributing to God's reputation? The day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord and King (Philippians 2:10-11). How can you lift up his name in your life today?

Lord, forgive us for not living like the people of a great King. Help us to live faithfully so that our neighbors will see your greatness and stand in awe of your name. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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