Why does God do what he does?
As we try to answer this question, we should be asking ourselves why we do what we do. Does our motivation match that of God’s?
Many charts and lists exist to help us understand what motivates us. These may be helpful in understanding humanity, but I am aware of none that have a motivation matching that of God. This probably speaks less of the lists and charts and more about us and what really stirs us to action.
So why does God do what he does? The prophet Ezekiel echoes what is taught throughout the Scriptures when he pinpoints what moves God to action. In this particular passage, Ezekiel is concerned with why God causes some nations to rise and others to fall.
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
(Ezekiel 36:22-23 ESV – Emphasis mine)
God does what he does for the sake of his holy name. In this particular chapter we find God performing various actions regarding the nations. All of which he does for the sake of his holy name.
1. God brought judgement against his own people because they had turned from him.
The chosen people of God were intended to declare the glory of God’s name. Instead they had become like those around them. They were motivated by peer pressure, their own glory and their own pleasure. As a result God raised up enemies to scatter and destroy the nation.
2. God raised up idol-worshiping nations.
God used nations who did not trust in the Lord to bring judgement upon his people. Keep this in mind when you see “success” in the lives of people and nations who do not honor the Lord. God is somehow working in a manner for the sake of his name.
3. God brought judgement to these same idol-worshiping nations.
These same nations that were used by God to bring judgement upon his people would likewise be judged for their iniquities. Today’s successes will ultimately result in God’s judgment if not done for the sake of his name.
4. God will restore his people.
Although God’s people certainly are the recipients of the wonderful blessings of God, we are not blessed for our own sake. God blesses and restores for his sake.
God does what he does to fulfill his own purposes unto his own glory. We have nothing in which to boast. He doesn’t bless you because you are good. He blesses you because he is holy and is making known his name.
If that is what motivates God, what motivates you? Do you live and work for your own gain? If so, you need a correction in your motivation. As the apostle wrote:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
Let your actions shine not upon you, but upon our great and mighty God.