Isaiah 30 … Consider Him Who Waits on High

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 is one of my most favorite passages in all of Scripture; and I felt sure I couldn’t help but be drawn to consider Him in this verse.

As often as I have stopped to ponder this truth about Him, I never cease to be amazed. It seems so out of character for any king to be kept waiting; but to keep the King of all kings waiting is inconceivable. And while He is absolutely worthy for all to bow before Him, and while He could absolutely command it and charge His angels with the task of ensuring it happens just that way, instead He Waits on High, Waiting for us to simply do what we were created to do.

And what were we created to do? Trust His plan to take refuge and seek shelter in Him. But instead…

“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord,
“Who execute a plan, but not Mine,
And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit,
In order to add sin to sin;
Who proceed down to Egypt
Without consulting Me,
To take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh
And to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!

And much of this chapter shares the consequences of rejecting Him in pursuit of the plans of man: shame, humiliation, reproach, distress, anguish, vain, empty, exterminated, illusions, oppression, guile, breach, collapse, ruthlessly shattered.

And also within these thirty-three verses, we read much about the judgment of Lord: of His burning anger, indignation, the consuming fire and overflowing torrent of His breath that will shake the nations as in a sieve; of Him causing His voice of authority to be heard and the descending arm of His fierce anger to be seen in “the flame of a consuming fire in cloudburst, downpour and hailstones,” and “at the voice of the Lord Assyria will be terrified when He strikes with the rod. And every blow of the rod of punishment which the Lord will lay on him,” (30:31-32); and of the time that every god of every nation will be nothing but kindling when “the breath of the Lord, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire,” (30:33).

But from between the prediction of His judgments and the Person Who exacts His Justice, something completely unexpected arises: Him, the Holy God and Almighty King Waiting. He has not abdicated His Throne, but yet, He Waits on High.

Consider Him Who Waits on High

This picture of God highly exalted yet Waiting for us, well it just seems so incongruous, especially when we consider why He is Waiting. He Waits, to be gracious to those who are so undeserving, to have compassion on those who have habitually rejected Him; Waiting to fulfill His promise of blessing if we will only walk in His purpose for us and do the very thing we were created to do.

But I had to make sure. Does this word in Hebrew really convey the idea of God Waiting? Yes it does.

longs, waits: 2442. חָכָה ḥāḵāh: A verb indicating to wait, to tarry. It indicates delaying an action… But it means to wait in order to accomplish one’s purpose…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

But God does not idly Wait; His delay is active as He Waits in order to accomplish His purpose. And it really goes beyond our ability to fathom. But He will accomplish His purpose, and He ensures that none be left in ignorance, for every future generation will learn that He Waits on High; for it is written at His command.

 Now go, write it on a tablet before them
And inscribe it on a scroll,
That it may serve in the time to come
As a witness forever,

He Waits on High, Waiting for us to come in repentance and find our rest in His salvation.

For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,

In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing…”

Oh, how did they refuse His merciful bidding? For if they had come to Him Who Waits on High, they would have experienced His grace and compassion as never before: to know Him as their Teacher; to know He is gracious to hear and answer prayer; to be enabled to behold Him and hear Him; to be directed in His way; to gain resolve to remove anything that robs Him of His glory; to perpetually live in His blessing and light; to experience His gracious touch and perfect healing.

O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. 22 And you will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your molten images plated with gold. You will scatter them as an impure thing, and say to them, “Be gone!”
23 Then He will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plenteous; on that day your livestock will graze in a roomy pasture. 24 Also the oxen and the donkeys which work the ground will eat salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 On every lofty mountain and on every high hill there will be streams running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the Lord binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted, (30:19-26).

But still, they kept Him Waiting. But His purpose will never be thwarted; and in His perfect time He stepped out of His Waiting on High and sent forth His amazing Gift of grace and compassion that we might be adopted as His own through faith in His Son.

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons, (Galatians 4:4).

And still another day will come when He will descend from His Waiting on High to call all who belong to Him to meet Him in the air and live with Him for all eternity.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord, (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

How do we respond to Him Who Waits on High?

The idea of the Lord Waiting on High, Waiting on His throne, Waiting for us to come to Him should leave us weak in the knees. But there’s more; as He Waits on High, He is also revealing His promised provision.

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,

Because He is a God of justice, sin must not and cannot be ignored. And because of His love, His grace and His compassion, He promised He would satisfy the righteous requirements of the Law through giving His Son to pay the debt of our sin, a debt impossible for us to repay. And if we would only long for and desire His justice performed in Christ, we would be blessed with eternal life.

Oh, may we never keep Him Waiting, but let us trust His perfect provision for salvation and life in Him.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).

And let us continue to trust His perfect provision to strengthen us to walk in the Spirit as we Wait for that day.

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, (Romans 8:3-4).

And when life takes a turn in a direction that doesn’t seem to be according to plan, let us not become weary, but rather let us trust Him for the strength we need as we Wait for Him.

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary,
(Isaiah 40:31).

Let us daily seek Him that we would learn to Wait with patience and in confidence for that day when He Who Waits on High will Wait no more. Oh, may we be ready!

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near, (James 5:7-8).

Let’s Grow Together!

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