Making God Great and Holy
Ezekiel 38:23
Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations…

I magnify myself, and sanctify myself.


1. Why God magnifies himself; and the answer will be - Not for the mere purpose of self-glorification. We cannot think that of him "whose nature and whose name is Love" (see homily on Ezekiel 36:16-21). We conclude that he desires and determines to make His Name to be had in reverence, and to cause himself to be honored as the Great and Holy One, because

(1) it is inherently right that it should be so; and because

(2) it is altogether and immeasurably advantageous and elevating to his children that it should be so; it is indeed the only way by which they can attain a true and worthy manhood; for it is reverence toward God which is the very root of human excellence and nobility.

2. How he magnifies himself. This is by

(1) all that he has said of himself in his Word;

(2) all that he makes known of his disposition and his character by his Divine providence;

(3) by the revelation of himself in the Person of his Son. In these three ways especially God makes us know how great he is, how great his majesty, his power, his goodness, his righteousness; and how holy he is, how utterly he hates sin, how determined he is to rebuke it, and not only to rebuke it, but to conquer and to expel it. Most especially does he "magnify and sanctify himself" in Jesus Christ; for in his Person and in his work we see the greatness of his love, and the intensity of his hatred of sin and the fixedness of his purpose to subdue and to extirpate it.


1. Why we should do so. Because:

(1) It is the one right thing for us to do. The Great One should be exalted; the Holy One should be honored, because he is great and holy, especially because his greatness is the greatness of goodness as well as of power, and because his holiness is crowned with patience and mercy.

(2) To revere God and magnify him in our heart is the one way to our own moral and spiritual elevation, to nobility of character, to excellency of life.

(3) It is distinctly the way to promote the happiness and well-being of the world.

2. How we can do so.

(1) In our spirit; by cherishing in our hearts the reverence that is "due to his Name;" i.e. due to himself for all that he is and has done for us.

(2) In our life. (See Philippians 1:20.) By bringing all our actions into harmony with the known will of God; by living in such a way that we show ourselves to be loyal subjects of Jesus Christ, consulting his mind and obedient to his Word in everything; by making it clear that we are willing to put forth any effort or submit to any sacrifice in order that Christ may be great in the esteem and in the affections of men; thus we "magnify and sanctify" him.

(3) By our speech. We need not always be introducing the distinctive language of religion into our conversation; yet we may take opportunity in the home, as well as at the desk or in the pulpit, to commend Jesus Christ to the hearts of young and old, as that Divine Savior in whom to trust, as that Divine Lord in whose service they will find freedom, rest, and eternal life. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

WEB: I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.

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