Isaiah 30, 31
Focus Verse: 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 book of Isaiah is not the easiest book to read. Much of its message is one of rebuke, prophecy, and condemnation to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah which had shut their eyes to God’s goodness, closed their ears to His truth, and were in a cycle of idolatry, evil, and unrighteousness.
But amid the message of rebuke, there is also one of redemption. There are prophecies not only of destruction, but also of deliverance; not only of judgment, but also of justice; not only of sin, but also of salvation. The book of Isaiah not only speaks of a period of condemnation, but also one of cleansing.
In this chapter (30), after pronouncing woes upon the “stubborn children,” “rebellious people,” “lying children,” “children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord,” Isaiah then says…therefore.
Therefore…the Lord waits to be gracious to you.
Therefore…He exalts Himself to show mercy to you.
Even though Israel and Judah had turned away from Him, refused to carry out His plan, didn’t want to hear anymore about Him, and despised His Word, God still waited to show them grace and mercy. In this passage, the word “wait” means that God longed to be gracious to His people. With eager expectation, He stood by to show mercy to His children.
Because He is a God of justice and righteousness, He had to punish their sin; however, He did not mean for that punishment to last forever.
When we sin and experience God’s punishment, it’s easy to think that His punishment will last a lifetime, but that is not the case. Nothing we do can exhaust God’s long-suffering or stop His grace over our lives.
His silence in times of punishment is often just His way of standing by, of waiting for us to cry to Him, to turn back to Him, and ask forgiveness. He is not planning to make an end of us. He is resolved to wait. Determined to be gracious. Intent on showing mercy.