The Lord Corrects His People

Think a moment about a water-saturated sponge. If we push down with our finger even slightly, water runs out onto the table. We immediately know what fills the interior pockets of the sponge. The same is true of ourselves. We can tell what fills us on the inside by what com … More


As we read this passage we need to understand that the Jews had become comfortable and complacent in their captivity and did not want to leave. They had followed Jeremiah’s suggestions (Jer. 29:4-7) and had families, houses and gardens and it was not easy for them to pack up and go to the holy land. However, this was where they belonged and where God had a work for them to do.

This passage is addressed to the “house of Jacob” which includes both Israel and Judah (v. 1). God admonishes the hypocrites among His people “who make mention of the God of Israel” in lip service but do not follow “in truth, nor in righteousness” (vv. 1-5). They took oaths, involving God’s name, but they were not righteous. They had disregarded the previous prophecies so God would give her new prophecies so their physical and spiritual deliverance would come, not from their own goodness or their own plans but from God’s grace (vv. 6-8).

The Lord would delay His wrath so His people could return to Judah (vv. 9-11). In spite of all the tragic judgments that were to come upon Judah and Israel, God reminds them that he has “chosen them in the furnace of affliction“ (v. 10). Why would a loving God allow all kinds of unpleasant experiences come to His children? The reason for the severe treatment of His people is that they might emerge from their afflictions and they might reflect His glory and greatness among them. Even though they deserved to be obliterated from the earth, He had promised to preserve them. This verse shows us plainly that God tests us in the “furnace of affliction.”


What kind of adversity are you currently facing? Do you find it easy to complain when your life becomes complicated or difficult? Rather than complain, my response should be to turn to God in faith and rejoice in my sufferings (Rom. 5:3; James 1:2-4). Without testings I would never know what I am capable of doing, nor would I grow.

Isaiah 48:1-11 (English Standard Version)

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