(pic source: http://www.alphabet-soup.net/goose/humpty.html)
My blog posts are also published in Facebook and one of my FB friends made a comment that while trials and tribulations are usually of our own doing or the devil’s attacks, he believes that God does send them too to test us.
Here’s our little exchange on FB:
Friend: God uses trials and tribulations to test us. (James 1:2-4 & 12, 1 Peter 1:7) A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. ( Psalm 51:17)
Me: Yes, trials and tribulations (T&T) do test us but God does not send them on us. James 1:2-4 & 12 and 1 Peter 1:7 merely state that T&T can result in good for us but do not say that T&T come from God. As I have pointed out in my post, T&T come because of our own doing or the devil's but God can help us come thru them stronger.
Friend: You are right. But not all T&T come because of our own doings or the devil. There are instances of when bad things happen to His people. Since God is our protector and engineer of our circumstances, we have to acknowledge that God is testing us for reasons that we may not understand now because His thoughts are higher than ours. "See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." ( Isaiah 48:10)
I wanted to reply him on FB but I realized that I can’t squeeze what I want to say into the little comment box there, so I decided to reply him here on my blog.
My friend quoted Isaiah 48:10 to support his point that God does send trials and tribulations to test us for reasons we may not understand now. However, I totally disagree with such a view, and I would also say that Isaiah 48:10 has been misinterpreted by my learned friend.
Looking at Isaiah 48:10 in context, take note that God, in the verse, was not addressing the Church. God was, in fact, talking to the nation of Israel which had turned away from Him and was worshipping idols:
Isaiah 48:1,5 (NKJV)
Hear this, O house of Jacob,
Who are called by the name of Israel,
And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah;
Who swear by the name of the LORD,
And make mention of the God of Israel,
But not in truth or in righteousness;
Even from the beginning I have declared it to you;
Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you,
Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them,
And my carved image and my molded image
Have commanded them.’
Moreover, if you continuing reading to Isaiah 48:11, you will see God explaining why He “refined” and “tested” Israel:
“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another.”
God did it for HIS OWN SAKE, not Israel’s sake; God did it to re-establish His glory to Israel, to remind them that, without a doubt, He is the ONE and ONLY GOD:
Isaiah 48:12-13 (NKJV)
“ Listen to Me, O Jacob,
And Israel, My called:
I am He, I am the First,
I am also the Last.
Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them,
They stand up together.”
Actually, Isaiah 48 is not about God’s “refining” and “testing” but rather it is about God’s redemption! As you continue reading from verse 14, you will see God revealing his redemption plan for Israel:
Isaiah 48:20-22 (NKJV)
20 Go forth from Babylon!
Flee from the Chaldeans!
With a voice of singing,
Declare, proclaim this,
Utter it to the end of the earth;
Say, “The LORD has redeemed
His servant Jacob!”
21 And they did not thirst
When He led them through the deserts;
He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them;
He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.
22 “ There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”
Take a look at v21, God did not send trials and tribulations on Israel when they were in the desert. In fact, God rescued them time and again, even causing water to gush out of a rock for them.
God did not push Humpty Dumpty off the wall! God does not break us, He restores us, even Humpty Dumpty which all the king’s men couldn’t put together again.