Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Devotions: the Blessedness of 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 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

In this chapter, God encourages the Israelites to trust Him rather than turning to Egypt for assistance and deliverance from oppression. But Israel would not listen, they trust in mortals and numbers rather than in the Almighty God. Because of that, God allows them to be conquered and exiled and their country to be laid waste and desolate. But God does not desire any to perish, nor to bear the pain of consequence. He allows them to be disciplined for their disobedience because He is a good parent, but it grieves Him to see their pain. If only they would turn to Him! The words “long” and “wait” come from the same root which denotes waiting in anticipation. His desire is to be good to His people, He greatly desires to stop their pain, but He is also just and He will not allow unrepentant sin to go unpunished. But those who long for Him, or wait for/on Him, are blessed. Those who put their trust in God rather than in others or themselves will prosper because they will avoid the pain of the consequences of sin and rebellion.
This is such a beautiful verse! Israel had been horribly rebellious and sinful, yet God’s love was so much greater that He longed for them to be healed, to turn to Him in spite of all the evil they had done. And the same is true for us! We all sin. We all have periods of turning from God to our own way. But God offers us the same grace and mercy. He longingly waits for us to return to Him, to repent of our sin and waywardness. He is ready to take us back the instant we turn to Him! That is why He waits to return, He doesn’t want any more to be lost than absolutely necessary (1 Peter 3:9)! Don’t wait any longer! Turn to the Lord, wait on Him and be blessed!

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