Today we will see a few examples of how God made His name great through His relationship with His people Israel. Making God’s name great is more than just sharing the words “Yahweh” or “Jesus.” It is a revealing of His nature and character, His glory. This is because, Biblically speaking, names are more than just words used to identify people. They have deep meaning and represent the character of the person. People in the Bible would sometimes change their names to show a change in character: Abram became Abraham, Saul became Paul, etc. So making God’s name great means revealing His glory. Remember: God’s glory is the manifestation or demonstration of His nature and character.
I Samuel 17:41-47 David and Goliath
Goliath “cursed David by his gods” (v.43), but David came against Goliath “in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (v. 45), “so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (v.46-47). David won, and God was glorified. When God went with Israel to defeat its enemies, His purpose was to make His name great among the nations.
1 Kings 8:41-43 Solomon Dedicates the Temple
When Solomon dedicated the Lord’s temple (the visible symbol of God’s presence and relationship with the Israelites) part of His prayer was for the foreigner who would come because they heard of God’s great name. He asked God to answer the foreigners’ prayers, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel” (v.43). The temple was always intended to be “a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7).
Daniel 3:24-29 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
When king Nebuchadnezzar saw that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not harmed at all by the fiery furnace, he recognized God’s greatness, calling the young men “servants of the Most High God” (v.26). He went on to bless the Lord (v. 28) and make a decree that no one could blaspheme Him in all of Babylon (v. 29). Is it possible that God knew this would happen and it was part of the reason He saved the young men?
Daniel 6:25-27 Daniel in the Lion’s Den
After the Lord had saved Daniel from the Lion’s den, King Darius made the decree “that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: For he is the living God, enduring forever.” God’s name was made great in all of the land because He revealed His glory through His demonstration of power.
For every $100 that Christians worldwide give, how much do you think goes to reach unreached people groups? Approximately 1-3 cents. Not dollars. Cents. That’s 1/10 to 3/10 of 1%! The other 99.7-9% goes to work within reached people groups. Since unreached people groups constitute 30-40% of the world’s population, doesn’t it make sense that 30-40% of the Church’s resources would go to reach them?
Unreached people groups must be a strategic priority, not because they are more loved by God than non-Christians in reached people groups, but because without this focus they will have no way of ever hearing.
“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 108:5
The preceding is the fourth of twelve lessons. We started in Genesis and will be working our way through the Bible. These studies will be available on this website every other week starting July 15th, 2014. You can access them by going to Articles in SDBMissions.org. Or if you would like to receive these by email twice a month, please contact Subscribe by Email and say that you would like to be put on the missions study emails list or use our contact page: Contact Us. To download a powerpoint version follow click this LINK.