He is Waiting

Merry Christmas to you. Christmas is an interesting time for me – perhaps I will go into it at a another time. But I was reading something today that I wanted to share what struck me. I’m still working my way through Isaiah. I’ve so often heard that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, while the God of the New Testament is a God of love. I have even thought that myself. But as I have been reading through Isaiah, I’ve been persuaded that God is consistently a God of Justice, mercy and love throughout Scripture. Following many of the judgment passages, are verses that speak of Israel’s renewal through the remnant of God’s people. Continually God is calling his people to return to him.

I read Isaiah 30 today.

Woe to the obstinate children, declares the Lord, ‘to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refugue

I got thinking about our communities study of Scripture this fall and the consistent theme that God was trying to get Egypt out of His people and bring them into the promised land. So often the Israelites looked back – how quick are we to forget what God has saved us from at times. I think Christmas memories really speak to that – the nostalgic thoughts that make Christmas out to be this holly jolly time when reality is that it is not for many people. Or at least it’s not a clean and tidy holiday – we were reminded on Christmas eve as a real donkey made a dump in the church how unclean and messy Christ’s entry into the world would have been. Not quite the sanitized nativity scene that we are all to used to. Anyways, here the Israelites are STILL choosing to look back and wish that they were in Egypt, still longing for the life they once had, forgetting how painful and binding the chains of slavery were.

How often do I look beyond the Lord for my help, refuge and guidance!

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

I was struck by how God lays out the path for salvation and strength – repentance, rest, quietness, trust – and how by looking back to Egypt for their needs, they continually refuse what God lavishes upon them. I started to think – is the Lord working on my heart to get “Egypt” out of me? I have often considered my leaving home to be an exodus from slavery. Maybe these years of waiting, as painful as they are, are a time of God continually calling me to lean on him only and to leave my past in Egypt. I thought it to be interesting too that rest and quietness are mentioned here after our Sabbath retreat. How easy it is to get busy and caught up in everything that distracts us from turning to the Lord in repentance and strength.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.

And even though we constantly turn away from God, the Lord longs to be gracious, longs to be compassionate. He is waiting.

he is waiting.

Wow.

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