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. Isaiah 30:18—NKJV

Do you recall the voice of your child saying, “do it self!” meaning, stop helping, I can do it myself? Remember how you would wait close by watching his little fingers make an ungainly attempt at imperfect self-sufficiency? Parental waiting was a part of his struggle to grow up. You were there to lend a hand and guide him to success.

Parental supervision is a different story when danger lurks in the shadows. The child’s desire to “do it self” can have disastrous consequences and the child needs immediate intervention or destruction is assured.

The Children of Israel in Isaiah’s day were like willful children seeking to rescue themselves in the face of danger without coming to the Lord for help. In their case they did not have the child-like excuse of innocence. They were pursing other avenues of rescue from the dreaded Assyrian enemy. They were turning to other nations and their own resources rather than turning in repentance and waiting upon God for deliverance.

The intervening verses between 15 and 18 display their own inept attempts and paint a picture of self-inflicted terror. God tells them that though they seek fast horses to flee the enemy the enemy will also have swift horses to pursue them. Judah will be upended by the fearsome ravings of a few and the story of their self-immolation will stand out like a lonely lodgepole pine on a hill. When God’s people do not rely on Him they often trip themselves up spectacularly, not because God is not able, but because they forgot God in their pursuits.

Verse 18 is the gem of the passage. God does not give up on His own people. When we do not wait on God it appears that He waits on us and His waiting is so that He may show His favor upon His own when it is just. He seems to withdraw on High (He is exalted) in order to display His compassionate love (mercy) upon you. He is righteous, loving the right.

The word that Isaiah was led by the Holy Spirit to use to describe God’s seeming absence is the word “wait.” It signifies the gracious heart of the Almighty toward His errant children because it means “to wait with an earnest expectation and longing, with a desire for something.” How amazing to grasp the meaning that when God’s people do not “wait” upon God we cause Him to “wait” for us!

Some people think that we should come to God after we take care of something first, or after things get just a little more out of hand, or when we are ready, there is always some excuse. Those who think this way are, in effect, making God wait and ignoring the disaster that dogs their footsteps.

Believers are summoned to repent, obey and wait upon God. Do you know how to wait upon God? Is there some aspect of your life where you need to practice waiting upon your Heavenly Father? He promises, “Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” Trust and obey.