Isaiah 48:9 MEANING

Isaiah 48:9
(9) For my name's sake . . .--The thought is two-fold, in answer to the implied question why Jehovah had not punished so guilty a people: (1) after the manner of men, that had He destroyed His chosen people, the nations of the world would have thought Him changeable and capricious; (2) taking "name" as the symbol of character, that He might assert His own everlasting righteousness and love, as willing to save rather than destroy.

Verse 9. - For my Name's sake will I defer mine anger. Israel's insincerity (ver. 1), obstinacy (ver. 4), addiction to idols (ver. 5), blindness (ver. 8), and general resistance to God's will (ver. 8), could not but have provoked God's "anger." He will, however, "defer" it, "refrain" himself, not "cut Israel off, for his Name's sake." God, having selected one nation out of all the nations of the earth to be his "peculiar people" (Deuteronomy 14:2), and having declared this, and supported his people by miracles in their struggles with the other nations and peoples, was, so to speak, committed to protect and defend Israel "for his Name's sake," lest his Name should be blasphemed among the Gentiles (see Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:13; Deuteronomy 9:28; Psalm 129:10; 106:8, etc.). He was also bound by the promises which he had made; and. still more, by the position which Israel occupied in his scheme of salvation, to allow the nation still to exist, and therefore to condone its iniquities and restrain his anger. But the dregs of the cup of vengeance were poured out at last.

48:9-15 We have nothing ourselves to plead with God, why he should have mercy upon us. It is for his praise, to the honour of his mercy, to spare. His bringing men into trouble was to do them good. It was to refine them, but not as silver; not so thoroughly as men refine silver. If God should take that course, they are all dross, and, as such, might justly be put away. He takes them as refined in part only. Many have been brought home to God as chosen vessels, and a good work of grace begun in them, in the furnace of affliction. It is comfort to God's people, that God will secure his own honour, therefore work deliverance for them. And if God delivers his people, he cannot be at a loss for instruments to be employed. God has formed a plan, in which, for his own sake, and the glory of his grace, he saves all that come to Him.For my name's sake will I defer mine anger,.... From age to age, for those sins which had been committed, and continued in ever since they were a people. The above account of them shows that it was not for any merits of theirs, or any works of righteousness done by them, that he showed favour to them, as afterwards expressed; but for his own name's sake, and because of his glory; because these people were called by his name, and said to be his people, lest therefore his name should be reproached among the Heathen, or he should suffer any diminution of his glory, therefore he did not at once stir up all his wrath, as their sins deserved, but prolonged it from time to time:

and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off: that is, refrain mine anger from thee; or "seal" or "stop my nostrils" (c), that the smoke of his wrath and anger might not go out from thence to destroy them. The Targum is,

"I will confirm (or establish) thee, that I may not consume thee;''

and this he would do, because of his praise, of the praise of his mercy, grace, and goodness; and that he might have a people to praise him, which he would not, should they be cut off.

(c) "obstruam sive". "obturabo nares tibi", Malvenda, Gataker; so Jarchi.

Courtesy of Open Bible