Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
The book of Isaiah, like many of the books of the prophets, is a description of what will and does happen to the disobedient Israelites. In the midst of all of this is this passage giving us an insight to God’s character. So much of what I love about the Old Testament are the glimpses the writers give us about God’s character.
This passage makes me think about parenting. I long as a parent to be gracious and compassionate to my children; especially when they are not following my guidance. This is how I imagine God. He looks at our disobedience and/or our waywardness and longs to grant us grace and show compassion. However, parenting also requires the correction of our children. Justice also has its place.
At this point in Israel’s history, God, longing to show grace and compassion has to administer justice. In the prior verses, Isaiah gives the people some reflection on where they should have been as a nation. Repentance and rest were their salvation; quietness and trust their strength. But as Isaiah told them, they would have none of that. Therefore, God has administered justice. Again, using the parent example, we have to administer justice to our children when they have missed the mark or are defiant. All the while, we would like to see our children follow our guidance and avoid the consequences that come with justice.
The final piece of the verse, “Blessed are all who wait on him!” gives us one more glimpse into the character of God. I imagine this to be all of those who eagerly await a fulfillment of a promise from God. I think about the story in Luke about Simeon. Simeon was one who waited on the Lord to see the Messiah with his own eyes. Simeon was blessed by waiting on the Lord. There are times that I have waited what seems a long time. Some of those requests and waits have been fulfilled. Some are yet to come to fruition. Some may not come to fruition for me, but God will fulfill it to someone down the line.
It is good to know that God longs to have compassion and grace for His followers. I in turn need to practice that character in my life for those around me.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”
1. Describe where in your life God has shown his grace and compassion.
2. Describe a time in your life where God has shown His justice.
3. Who in your life do you long to show your grace and compassion? Explain.
4. Where in your life has waiting on the Lord been fulfilled?
5. Where are you still waiting on the Lord?
6. Pay attention this week to the areas of your life where you need to show grace and compassion. Ask the Lord to give you strength and boldness to follow through.
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