Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 19, 2017

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 48:1-11.

“Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel
And who came forth from the loins of Judah,
Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness.
“For they call themselves after the holy city
And lean on the God of Israel;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
“I declared the former things long ago
And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them.
Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
“Because I know that you are obstinate,
And your neck is an iron sinew
And your forehead bronze,
Therefore I declared them to you long ago,
Before they took place I proclaimed them to you,
So that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them,
And my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.’
“You have heard;  look at all this.
And you, will you not declare it?
I proclaim to you new things from this time,
Even hidden things which you have not known.
“They are created now and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard them,
So that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
“You have not heard, you have not known.
Even from long ago your ear has not been open,
Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously;
And you have been called a rebel from birth.
“For the sake of My name I delay My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain it for you,
In order not to 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 act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.”  Isaiah 48:1-11.

—————————-

There were many in Israel who superficially claimed to be the people of God and who superficially worshipped God: 

“… Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness.”  Verse 1.

And, God acted in ways that benefited Israel, but it was not for Israel’s sake.  Israel had been “a rebel from birth”, “obstinate”, fond of idols, and dealt “very treacherously”.  See verses 4, 5, and 8. 

God acted for His own sake.

For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.”  Verse 11.

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 My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.  I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst.  Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.”  Ezekiel 36:22-23.

Today, there are also many who superficially claim to be the people of God and who superficially worship God.  But, God knows who are truly His people, and God knows all the actions and all the thoughts of man.  

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”  2 Timothy 2:19.

The god of other doctrine reacts to man for man’s sake.

But, the God of Reformed Doctrine initiates for God’s sake.

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:15-18.

but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-31.

But, God does not only initiate to give mercy for His sake, God initiates to render justice for His sake as shown by “the bookend verses 22 and 25” surrounding the much quoted Jeremiah 9:23-24.  

22 Speak, “Thus says the Lord,
‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field,
And like the sheaf after the reaper,
But no one will gather them.’”

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised—”  Jeremiah 9:22-25.

But, for God’s chosen people whom He chose for His own sake to proclaim His excellencies, it is written:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

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