Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Our great reward - Is 48:11

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.

Do you still remember the summer Olympics? I was so impressed by the cyclists. Even the most unsporting of us has ridden a bicycle and knows how tough it can be. Its hard, hard work.

If you heard them interviewed about their training, you will remember hearing about their training regime, the time they put in on the training field in all weather, the huge number of miles cycled each day, the incredible muscle building sprint work that leaves them rolling on the ground in agony, their dedication to their sport, and their commitment to being the best.

We rightly admire them for all their effort.

And after the olympics we have see them proudly display their medals, go on TV shows to talk about their success, and we have held them up in our admiration for all their achievements.

However, the reality was that they were not there for themselves. They were there for their team and country. It should not have been for their own medal gain that they compete, but for their country and the glory of their nation.

In Is 48 God has pointed out again the peoples failure. He tells them that He has sought to refine them, to make them into the people they should be. But he reminds them that the reason that He does this is not first of all their good or glory, though we know that He does delight in His people and rejoice over them (Zeph 3). No, the primary reason is because of His name and His glory. "For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this".

And that is far, far better for us. For why should we welcome His discipline if only for ourselves, even if we keep our eyes on His desire for our best, to transform us to be all He intended us to be (Rom 12:1-3)? We could be satisfied with 'doing alright'. But its not for us alone, and not merely for our lifespan. Its for His glory and His eternal honour! Its so that, beyond our time-frame, in the reaches of eternity, God might say, as he said of Job, 'Have you considered my servant...', and, amazingly, God is glorified in us.

Isn't that a far better purpose and reward?

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