Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.
And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“ This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
History and Context:
For a short history on the book of Isaiah you can refer to my post from June 8th, 2011 Fear of Man. This particular chapter begins by rebuking the king of Judah, Hezekiah, for seeking help from the Egyptians instead of seeking help from God. The Lord begins by saying "Woe to the rebellious children" (Is. 30:1) and continues to rebuke them for creating their own plans and strategies, without acknowledging or seeking God. The prophecies predict that the strength of Pharaoh will in the end be their shame and will fail them (Is. 30:3,6). This is later shown as true as the Assyrians respond by invading the land of Judah. At first Hezekiah submits to them in despair but is later encouraged to resist Assyria and he finally takes it before the Lord who answers and rescues them. (Isaiah 37)
When reading this chapter, this passage (especially verse 18) stuck out to me. In verse 18 Isaiah says about the Lord, "Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you". It really hit me that the Lord was waiting for the opportunity to be gracious to the kingdom of Judah. The first 17 verses talk about how Judah has rejected the Lord and how they will have to repent of their lack of trust in Him and return to Him in order to be saved, but then it says "the Lord will wait". I can picture Him in heaven sitting on the edge of His throne just waiting for the first cry of His people. "When are they finally going to ask me? When are they finally going to invite me in their situation?" It hurts Him to see us hurting, but He desires that we choose Him. He doesn't want to force Himself on us. In James He laid out the plan "draw near to God and He will draw near to us" (4:6). He is up there just waiting for that first step, that first cry, that first prayer "Lord, help me!"
The challenge of course is to call upon Him. To invite Him into your situation, whatever that may be. This is always the challenge and it is hard to understand why it is so much of a challenge. Why is it that we always attempt to trust in the Egypts of the world rather than God. Why is it that we trust in doctors to heal us but we can't trust God who has said "I am the Lord, who heals you"? (Ex 15:26) Why is it that we can always trust in our jobs to give us a paycheck but we can't trust in the Lord when it says in the Word that "The Lord will provide"? (Gen 22:14) We trust in the government, the health system, our paychecks, our family, our friends, our church, etc. but we can't seem to trust in God. He is waiting on the edge of His seat for someone to finally cry out to Him and say "Lord, help me!"
Lord, help me! Help me in my family, in my finances, in my church, and in my friendships. Help me in the very situation that I am in now. I trust in you and not in these other things. I know that you can and will use people around me to provide for me but I understand that it is ultimately you who provides and not those other things. I trust you Lord. You are my provider, you are my healer. You are everything that I need. I thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!