The persistent love of God
You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled, but you refuse to admit it. Now I will tell you new things, secrets you have not yet heard. They are brand new, not things from the past. So you cannot say, ‘We knew that all the time!’ “Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new, things you never heard of before. For I know so well what traitors you are. You have been rebels from birth. Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out. I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. Isaiah 48:6-10 NLT
From the text, Isaiah is telling the Israelites that God is preparing to pour out His grace in new ways. He will not reveal how this is to be done. We do not like surprises or uncertainties for they make us helpless. We would rather see what is ahead of us. But what good will it does if we can see into the future? Will this be good for us? God knows us so well that He will not tell us or disclose His plans for the future. We have a tendency to take matters into our hands. Once we do this and we push God aside, we rebel against Him by not relying on His workings in us. “For I know so well what traitors you are. You have been rebels from birth” (v. 8). We would rather trust our own abilities than trust God. This is why God discloses some of His plans for the future but not much so we will not ignore Him. He wants us to lean on Him. He loves us so much that instead of punishing us because of our rebellion, He will hold back His anger. He loves us so much in ways beyond our comprehension. This is what sets God apart from idols. Though there are moments that we grieve Him because of our disobedience, He continues to come to us with His grace. His grace confronts our sinfulness that He responds with forgiveness. How important to sense God pursuing us that He wants us to be responsive to Him, and to acknowledge His works for us.