Saturday, November 20, 2010

For Your Sake

Isaiah 43:1-28
     God reminds Israel how He has preserved her.  He did not create her to worship other gods.  He created Israel to be His witness.  He is the only God who has protected her, cared for her, supplied for her.  None of the gods Israel worshipped after have done or will ever do what He has.
     "...For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships."  This tells me that sometimes God does bring hard things into our lives so that we will serve Him better.  The Bible and history both tell us how Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem.  He then deported many of Israel's citizens to the land of Babylon.  God could have prevented this.  But instead, it was what He used to bring Israel back to Himself.  Eventually, she did turn back to God.
Babylonians - Captive Jews Led into Babylonia
     Is every hard thing that God brings into our lives a result of being rebellious towards Him?  No.  But how many times has He done something in my life to get my attention?  Perhaps there has been an area in my life that God wants me to tend to, and for my sake He brings a trial to help me adjust.  He may allow a difficult circumstance because He wants me to serve Him better.  Then, instead of complaining, shouldn't I be thankful for the problem?  Isn't it for your sake?  Doesn't He want to make me better?  In the long run, is He trying to prevent problems for me?  He allowed Babylon to dominate Israel, because He knew that it would be for her good, that it would bring her back to Him.  She may have continued in this cycle of worshipping idols and false gods forever.  But God wanted something so much more for her.  Towards the end of this chapter God tells us how weary He is of rescuing a people who would never even acknowledge Him.  They failed to praise Him.  They neglected the sacrifices.  They were tired of Him.  They ignored the God who " he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."  What other god would do that?
     Do I weary you, Lord?  Do I neglect to praise you, honor you, thank you?  Thanksgiving is next week and I don't want to forget to be thankful.  Thank you Lord for your great, great love towards me.  Thank you for your protection every day, even when I don't know it.  Thank you for supplying all my needs (and wants).  Thank you for bringing things in my life that I don't understand, that I want to complain about, that I would rather not endure.  You love me as noone else can, and it is for my sake so that I will serve you better.

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