Writers know the power of a single word put in the right place. In these verses, that word is “yet.”
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider Your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of Your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make known His mighty power. (Psalm 106:7–8)
While “yet” can mean several things as an adverb, here it means “nevertheless” or “in spite of that.” His people thanklessly forget all God had done for them and rebelled against Him, but He saved them anyway. It is verses like this that help me greatly in my own struggle to be thankful and obedient to God.
These sinners, and myself also, have no merit for God’s goodness. I have provoked Him and put my pride and selfish desires ahead of godliness and righteous obedience. Yet He saves sinners for his name’s sake. He is not looking the other way, but has laid the punishment for my sin, wickedness, and rebellion on Jesus Christ. The penalty has been paid. Mercy is greater than wrath.
He saves for His name’s sake regardless of how long a sinner has been at it, or how many times I stumble and slide backward. His plea to me is this:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7) and “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)
For His own name’s sake, He touches my life and may even use difficult situations to rebuke me, yet because of Jesus Christ, He changes me from what I am to what He intends for me.
Because of the iniquity of (her) unjust gain I was angry, I struck (her); I hid my face and was angry, but (she) went on backsliding in the way of (her) own heart. I have seen (her) ways, but I will heal (her); I will lead (her) and restore comfort to (her)… (Isaiah 57:17–18)
Besides my resistance, He can save me from outward afflictions and challenging circumstances, not because I deserve it. He does this for His name’s sake.
Though you are an outcast and nobody cares for you, He may save you for His name’s sake, for He “gathers the exiles of Israel” (Isaiah 56:8).
This amazing grace is not a license to sin, yet God’s pardon is a powerful truth. One taste of freedom, one moment of the Spirit-filled life, one prayer of unhindered communion with God through His mercy and grace, and my heart is hooked. No matter how delightful sin may seem, the power of God is greater, His joy more satisfying. Yet if He didn’t save for His own name’s sake, I would never merit or know that joy or experience His peace.