King James Version (KJV)
For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
Simple enough...."For thy names sake". But oh, so important. This fact - that it is for His names sake - that we are forgiven, is mentioned a number of times in Scripture assuring us of its importance.
In Psalm 23 verse 3, for example, we are told: "He leadeth me in the paths of rightousness for his name's sake." There are many other verses where these same words are expressed.
One way we can look at this is that it is for God's glory; it is for the sake of His name. In that we should want to be careful of our behavior so that we don't tarnish His name.
We are given free will. In fact, I believe the greatest part of God's sovereignty is the gift of our free will. And certainly, it is not His will that any should perish. It grieves the heart of God to see us suffer in sin. Surely for His sake, for the Glory of His name, He desires our repentance. I believe that to be true.
But more than that, as we dig deeper into the meaning of this phrase, we find, that the word for "sake" in the Hebrew means "purpose". So it is for His name's purpose. That makes much more sense in that connotation, does it not? It is all about God's purpose or intent -in other words, His will.
Next time you read these passages, such as the one for today's devotional, which use this phrase - for thy name's sake - read it again inserting the Hebrew meaning "for God's purpose"; "for His will" and find comfort in the fact that God's great will and purpose are at the very heart.
And yes, it is all simple enough..."For your purpose, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great."
Psalm 79: 9