God VINDICATES His HOLY NAME through US: "So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Surely it is coming, and it shall be done," says the Lord God. "This is the day of which I have spoken." (Ezek. 39:7-8)
When we read through the previous chapters of Ezekiel until now, we can understand that it was God’s concern for His holy name that would cause Him to bring the Jewish exile to an end and put His Spirit in His people (36:27). Through this, God will teach Israel and the nations that He is the Holy One in Israel, and would vindicate His holy name on that day. Unlike our use of names as labels of reference, God’s very essence is bound up in His holy name. God promised to act to save a holy remnant for the honor and glory of His name!
Ezekiel 36:21 describes real concern of God: "But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went." Since God had made Israel His special people and they had transgressed the covenant, their actions caused God’s name to be profaned in the sight of all the nations around them. That is one of the primary reasons that God would intervene in their salvation: "Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land" (Ezekiel 36:22-24).
God unilaterally acts on behalf of His people Israel so that the nations will know that He is the Lord (39:6) and that His name is holy (39:7), and so that Israel will know that He is their God (39:21). The name of God was His self-disclosure, and was closely linked to His attributes and the covenant relationship to His people. It was more than just a means of verbal identification; it was closely linked to His character itself!
God’s name is concrete as is His character: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe." (Proverbs 18:10) The name of God is holy because God is holy. God has chosen Israel before (and us today) to bear His name and has promised to make them (and us) holy for the glory of His name. As Psalm 23:3 says, the reason He guides us in righteous paths is for the sake of His name: "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake."
God vindicates His holy name in and through us! As we ask God to fulfill His holy purposes in our lives, let us think about Jesus’ high priestly prayer for His followers in which we find the heart of God for His people: "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world." (John 17:4-6)
Let us live lives that are worthy of bearing the name of our Lord Jesus Christ before an unbelieving world. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)