“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3
“His name’s sake” reads as if God does these things to make Himself look good, but God does not seek approval of the opinions of mortal men. Pride and vanity are human characteristics and certainly do not apply to the only One who truly deserves praise for all He is and all He has done.
The Hebrew word for “sake” means “purpose” or “on account of” so “His name’s sake” translates as “because of His name” and God’s name represents all He is. “Name’s sake” eventually became the word “namesake” meaning being named after another, usually referring to a father and his son and as a child of God, I am His “namesake”.
I often wonder why He loves me as much as He does, why He forgives my failures, why He always provides and why He leads me in the path of righteousness – not for His glory, nor the sake of His name, but because of His nature and immeasurable love for His creation. I do not understand it, cannot earn it, certainly do not deserve it; however, God is love; He just is.
“Therefore, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
As “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness,” these paths may bring well-deserved glory to His name and in doing so, to Himself, but I do not believe that is His intent. He longs to cultivate a closeness to us, as sheep know the sound of their Shepherd’s voice; following in a sense of safety, knowing green pastures and cool waters await.
“Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:5-6