9 “For My name’s sake I will defer My anger,
And for My praise I will restrain it from you,
So that I do not cut you off.
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another.
We learn a great deal about God and about ourselves from the study of Israel and God’s actions toward them. We are no different than disobedient Israel. We also stray from God, we rebel against God, and we worship other things besides God. As God showed His anger to Israel so He has shown His anger toward us in our sin. As God taught them justice so does He teach us.
Notice today that God, for His name’s sake, defers His anger. God wants us to know of His mercy and of His kindness and love. Were God to give us full recompense for our sin He would have to totally damn each of us away from Him forever. But for His name’s sake, God shows us His mercy and His grace. Thus we know that God is love because He so often does not give us what we deserve.
God wants us to praise Him so He does not cut us off but in mercy gives us both life eternal and life abundant. We do not praise God for naught. He is not a helpless idol that must be carried about and must have stories of His greatness made up. No, we praise God because He has worked on our behalf for His glory.
However, God does refine our lives and God does test us. The furnace of affliction is a place of painful correction when God puts us through trials for our good. We seldom see the benefit of the furnace until we have gone through it and been purified, not like silver is purified but in the way that we need to be changed for our good and for God’s glory. This view of affliction enables us to thank God for the good days and for the bad days. In both He is to be glorified for so working in our lives.
And why does God so work on our lives? For His own sake He works so that we will give Him glory and not ourselves nor the gods of our own hands. When God has shaped our lives we thank Him for what He has done and praise Him for how He has made us.
I was able to visit Nancy again yesterday. She is in a bad way. Today the doctors are going to attempt a second method of stinting her liver. This second method is a bit more risky than the first. She needs a liver. Pray with Nancy for God to raise her up to be a testimony of his love and power.
Pray for Mirna’s boss who is having his second leg amputated tomorrow. I will be visiting him today.
Pray also for Mary Green’s mother Elise who is in Edward with an infection. I have gotten to know Elise at Sunrise Assisted living. Pray for wisdom and comfort for Mary and her family.
I am taking the eight grandkids with me to Sunrise this morning. They will bring many smiles to the residents there. Whenever Justin and his family is in town we try to do this. Kids bring such joy to the elderly.
Have a great day in the Lord,