“Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”
Ever since he was a kid, he knew that his family name carried weight in that community. His grandfather was a noted philanthropist, and his name was on more than one building in town. His parents also were pillars in their own right, and he grew up enjoying the benefits that came with carrying that name. What he failed to recognize was the responsibility that also came with being part of that family. His adolescence brought trouble as a result of irresponsible decisions, but that was not trouble just for him. He did not understand his father’s anger because he did not appreciate how his life reflected upon that family. He certainly thought his bad deeds would make him look bad, but he never considered that his actions would blemish that precious name.
Being members of God’s family and professing to be children of his comes with great responsibility. This verse in particular shows us a picture of someone who speaks of his or her devotion to God but acts in a different manner altogether. The Lord’s response is about what that kind of behavior by us does to people’s perception of him. When we declare that we are his, we have signed up to meet a standard. When we willingly defy that standard, it is a reflection not only on us but on our Father. We want our lives to bring honor and respect to his name, but we so easily can drag it through the mud by our actions. This is not about one who falls in error but one who chooses to defy God yet identify with his name. That is the one God has called cursed.
The Lord has determined, and it will be so, that his name will be feared among the nations. It will not be shamed, and it will not be belittled. This is not a future promise but a present promise. God’s name will be held in glory now. That is not just a statement of fact but also a command for us. If we claim to be part of his family and children of his who carry that family name, then our actions should bring honor to that name. Our disobedience and defiance is not only a reflection upon us but will be seen as a reflection upon the One we claim to serve. Of that we cannot be ignorant. Father, make us faithful and obedient children whose works bring glory and honor to your name.