Ezekiel 39.25 observes that God jealously guards His holy reputation!
All of us want to guard our reputation. This desire reflects our being made in the image of God.
Like God, we care what people think about us and why they think the way they do. Frankly, God’s marketing isn’t very good. God has chosen to limit His brand to the purveyors of His product.
God’s reputation is the result of how well His people have lived according to His commands. Israel lived so poorly in adherence to God’s commands that He removed them from His land so that they could dwell with all the other pagans who worshiped false gods.
Israel didn’t look any different from the neighboring countries so God sent them to live with those neighboring countries whose false gods led them to a much harder and more insecure existence. While God’s people began with an ethnic tribe called Jews, He has since expanded His people to all that comprise His church.
God’s people are no longer limited to one ethnicity but comprise all peoples from all nations speaking every language. This inclusivity has always been His plan since God made the first man and first woman then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. This broad spectrum of children who call God Father leads to confusion among many about Who He really is since the children all look very much different.
In theory, the similarities should outweigh the differences by quite a lot. While height, weight and color will vary greatly these differences are what make people unique and actually please God which is why He gave each of us our own fingerprint.
Where the Church should be the same all over the world is in character and values for all the Church reports to one Head, one Lord and one Savior of all; Jesus Who is God made manifest. The Church should be similar in conduct and speech to Him Who is the Firstborn among many brethren who are even now being transformed into the image of this Firstborn Son.
This image is one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is an image of service and long suffering. It is an image of doing good to those who do evil and forgiving those who do us harm.
Admittedly, the Church has struggled to present this image losing itself instead upon its many differences rather than staying focused on its one true similarity: there is one God and Father of us all. When the children of God forget to honor Father God through the Son of God by the Spirit of God we tarnish God’s reputation and make Him seem unattractive to the world.
God is love. God is good. God is life abundant. These truths haven’t always been readily visible from the people of God. We need to work on that. God is concerned about His reputation and how His people live determine that reputation before a watching world.
We need to make every effort to ensure the message we are sending is true to the Messenger Who came and lived among us revealing the goodness of God Himself.