It’s a word written to an ancient people. But it’s an ancient word preserved for this present people. And, this morning, I’m thinking it’s worth chewing on.
Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.
(Isaiah 30:18 ESV)
One verse, four applications of colored pencil. Underline in dark blue what I observe about God: He waits to be gracious to His people; He rises up to show mercy; He is a God of justice. Shade with brown what I notice about grace: grace has a season, a time when God determines is the right time (in this case coming after a time of weeping, see 30:19). Use the orange colored pencil to highlight a promise seen, a promise that those who wait on God will be blessed by God. Finally, shade with lime green what’s observed about faith: faith is marked by waiting on Him who waits to be gracious.
Hmmm . . . lot to chew on there.
Circumstances of the people who this was written to very different than the situations of those it has been preserved for. But, it seems to me, that within it there is a transcendent principle at play for the people of God. In due time, in His time, blessing will be known by those who know the person of their God, and believe in the promises of their God. Who know His nature. Who trust in his word.
My God waits to be gracious. Far from sitting back on His throne in heaven, with His arms crossed, His lips pursed, and His head shaking back and forth with divine disapproval, my God actually leans over heaven’s balcony waiting to be gracious. Longing to show unmerited favor. And in the fullness of time, far from being a passive player in earth’s history, He rises up to show mercy, as demonstrated when He sent forth His Son to redeem and adopt those unworthy in themselves of redemption and adoption (Gal. 4:4-5). And that’s just but an opening of the floodgates of divine mercy and abounding grace. Do I believe it? Really believe it?
My God is a God of justice. Wrongs will be made right. Scales will be balanced. Payment for what is owed will be required. The wages of sin will be tendered. God has shown that He cares about justice. Even entering our world to bring about what is just, starting with the cross (Rom. 3:23-26). Thus, divine forbearance is appropriate as He waits patiently for sinners to find their way to the cross where Jesus became the once forever atoning sacrifice for sin and transgression. But a day is coming when that which has not been covered by the blood will brought to light, an accounting required, justice prevailing. Do I believe that? Really believe that?
If I believe these things to be true about my God then, by His enabling, I can wait for Him. I can endure the weeping that lasts for night, confident that joy will come in the morning (Ps. 30:5). I can patiently wait out the season of sorrow, knowing that one day He really will provide “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isa. 61:3). By faith I can wait.
And blessed are those who wait for Him.
Blessed this day. Even as we wait and experience His abiding presence in our loneliness and His sustaining power in our weakness. Blessed in that day. When the LORD who waits to be gracious reveals the full extent of His grace. When the LORD who rises up to show mercy, makes Himself known to all the earth. Those who wait, and persevere by faith, are blessed. In this day and in the day to come.
I can rest in knowing who My God is. I can trust in knowing what my God has promised.
By His grace. For His glory.