Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you
Isaiah 30:18 The blessing is in the waiting
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”
Isaiah 30:18 NASB1995
Of all of the Biblical prophets, I enjoy reading Isaiah the most. His prophecies are written with a lyrical beauty that is inspirational and poetic, and they were extremely accurate. Isaiah listened to God and passed along His message to the people with a deep desire that they would repent and come back to God. He knew, as God had told him that they would not and would be destined to exile in Babylon before returning to Israel.
We often wonder why God waits to do things in our lives; Isaiah is telling us that He does it so He may be gracious to us. All that the Lord appears to delay has a purpose, filled with love, behind it. We may not understand it, but we can trust it.
God’s compassion for us exalts Him! Compassion and mercy do not exalt the recipient; mercy highlights the guilt of the person deserving of punishment. But it also exalts the goodness of the person who extends mercy and compassion to others, as it shows their love, generosity, and mercy.
What does Isaiah mean by “the Lord is a God of justice”? David Guzik of Enduring Word explains:
On the surface, mercy and justice seem to oppose each other. If some guilty criminal stands before the judge, he has the choice to show either mercy or justice. But God is so great, He can show both at the same time.
i. This was shown at the cross, where Jesus took the punishment we deserve and God’s justice was satisfied. At the same time, God shows mercy by extending the work of Jesus to us as payment for our sins. Only God can reconcile mercy and justice, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).
Finally, Isaiah tells us that those who long (or wait) for Him receive a blessing from God just for patiently waiting for God’s promise and trusting in it. In the words of Charles H. Spurgeon,
“Certain of God’s people are in trouble and distress, and they are eager for immediate rescue. They cannot wait God’s time, nor exercise submission to his will. He will surely deliver them in due season; but they cannot tarry till the hour cometh; like children, they snatch at unripe fruit. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven’; but their one season is the present; they cannot, they will not wait. They must have their desire instantaneously fulfilled, or else they are ready to take wrong means of attaining it. If in poverty, they are in haste to be rich; and they shall not long be innocent. If under reproach, their heart ferments towards revenge. They would sooner rush under the guidance of Satan into some questionable policy, than in childlike simplicity trust in the Lord and do good. It must not be so with you, my brethren, you must learn a better way.”1
Be patient in waiting for blessings from God and they will come your way!
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, I thank You for being my God and Savior. Thank You for the grace that you show to me and all who trust in Christ for Salvation. I pray for Your people, that many will repent and turn to Christ by trusting in His work on the cross, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins and for life everlasting. AMEN
Enduring Word commentaries used with permission of the author.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon "The New Park Street Pulpit" Volumes 1-6 and "The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit" Volumes 7-63 (Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications, 1990)