Isaiah 48:11 is an incredible verse –
I will rescue you for my sake—
yes, for my own sake!
I will not let my reputation be tarnished,
and I will not share my glory with idols!
This comes after a section where God tells Israel that He has chosen them, even though they are “stubborn” and “obstinate”, with “necks as unbending as iron” and “heads as hard as bronze”.
He did not save them because they were obedient. Indeed, he saved them, knowing full well that they wouldn’t be obedient. Why? He’s a God of grace. And He declares – “I will rescue for my sake – yes, for my own sake!” Salvation, by definition, is for those who need “saving”.
Like many, the people of Israel had begun to trust in “things” – idols, money, their heritage, their religious-sounding prayers, etc. God steps in, and makes things very clear. They will not be saved, nor were they saved, because of their “things”. They will be saved, by Him – and for His own glory.