"Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us today before the Philistines?"
That brought back an experience I went through a couple years ago when certain relationships were taken away from me. I remember when struggling with that, saying to my friend that it felt like the Lord was saying to me, "If I take this away too, will you still love me?" I was also reminded of something I heard in sermon awhile back, that the worst possible reason for the Lord's people to suffer could be that the Lord is chastising us.....and if so He is doing it because He loves us. It would be far worse to be left alone! With all this on my mind, a verse from my Bible reading this morning:
"...God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart."
2 Chronicles 32:31
seemed to jump off the page at me. Below I shared some thoughts from Matthew Henry on this verse, then a couple other verses that this brought to mind, and last of all a sermon on many reasons why God has us suffer which I have listened to more than once.
"...God left him to himself in it, to try him. God, by the power of his almighty grace, could have prevented the sin; but he permitted it for wise and holy ends, that, by this trial and his weakness in it, he might know, that is, it might be known, what was in his heart, that he was not so perfect in grace as he thought he was, but had his follies and infirmities as other men....It is good for us to know ourselves, and our own weakness and sinfulness, that we may not be conceited or self-confident, but may always think meanly of ourselves and live in a dependence upon divine grace. We know not the corruption of our own hearts, nor what we shall do if God leave us to ourselves. Lord, lead us not into temptation."
"And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no."
"For the LORD will not cast off for ever:
But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men."
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