Whaddya' Mean, Wait?
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
The first seventeen verses of Isaiah 30 are a stinging rebuke from God to his people Israel. Rather than trust and rely on Yahweh, they ran to Egypt for safety and provision. He called them stubborn, rebellious, unwilling to hear His instruction; he predicted disaster in their near future. But then...verse 18 began a new section. The prophet painted a wonderful portrait of God who, in spite of hard-hearted, stiff-necked rejection, eagerly awaits the opportunity to pour out grace, mercy and justice on his people. Some different word pictures:
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. The Message
Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. NASB and NIV
For this reason the Lord is still waiting to show his favor to you so he can show you his marvelous love. He waits to be gracious to you. He sits on his throne ready to show mercy to you. The Passion Translation
God's eagerness to pour out grace, favor, mercy and justice is hindered by our own posture. When life is difficult or painful, where do we run? What have become our coping mechanisms, our "drugs of choice?" Like Israel, I have an "Egypt" unto whom I run for comfort, don't you? I am adjusting my personal theology...I visualize God my Father rising from his throne with all I need in his hands -- he is smiling at me, hankering to bless me. My part is to eagerly wait for him, to resist running to "Egypt."
The same word "khakha" is used for God (the LORD waits) and for us (all who wait) in Isaiah 30:18. It does not mean to wait impatiently, tapping one's foot and sighing in frustration. The word means to set an ambush, to long for, to wait expectantly. It is how I went to bed as a child on Christmas Eve, knowing the morning would include a tree full of gifts. I reluctantly went to sleep knowing, knowing that when I woke they would be there. Transferring hope to God, learning to wait with expectation is not easy. But it is how He has decided He will operate. He longs to give-- do I long for Him as well?
Waiting, anticipating, Perry Floyd