Yeshayahu Forty-Eight: Reputation

“For the sake of My name I defer My anger, and My praise is that I restrain My wrath for you, not to cut you off (Isaiah 48:9).” This verse is very interesting, because it tells us about God’s motivations for His actions. A lot of times, we hear about what God does, and also about what He feels, but in this particular instance, we get an insight into the why behind the what. So, at least specific to this verse, what is God’s reasoning? It’s Himself, His own reputation and name, or as my mom would say, shem tov. Growing up, my siblings and I were constantly reminded that the most important things that we had are our good names, the ways that we are known to the world. Our stories are micro, but it’s very interesting to see on a macro level that God’s own actions are tempered by this concern for how He is perceived. How many of our actions on a human level are determined by the same thing?

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