Who do you think you are… I asked myself when I first read the following passage:
9 “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.
Who did I think I was indeed! I used to think that God put me through all difficulties in life so that I will grow stronger; so that I will be a better person; so that I will grow to know him better. All these sound noble and true and good.
I realised that God does everything for His own sake. One might turn the question on God and say: How self-seeking!
But who am I to question God?! I’m just His creature. He created me for His glory. He made me go through furnace of affliction to test and refine me.
This verse is similar to
“And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3).
A lady decided to visit a silversmith, and report to the others on what he said about the subject.
She went accordingly, and without telling him the reason for her visit, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, “Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?”
“Oh, yes ma’am,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit and watch the furnace constantly, for, if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
God sees it necessary to put His children into the furnace; but His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.
Before she left, the lady asked one final question, “How do you know when the process is complete?”
“That’s quite simple,” replied the silversmith. “When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished.”
And so, God does everything for His own sake… for His own name… for His glory… so that His own image will be reflected in us. That in us, people will see His glory and praise His name. That is how God knows who He is. And how I should think who I am!