Journey to Bethlehem Day 1
Sunday, November 29
1 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
2 as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.
5 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
I hate waiting. I like to get things to get done—the sooner, the better.
This attitude might work well in certain situations. But not when it comes to God. Frequently, God makes us wait. And, frequently, there is a reason. We see that in our passage from Isaiah.
God’s people were unfaithful and were exiled to Babylon, where they longed for the good old days.
“… rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—” (v. 1)
In other words, “Come save us God. Act powerfully on our behalf, as you did when you gave the law at Mount Sinai. Your presence in fire and cloud and thunder and lightning was terrifying. Do it again. Frighten our captors. Come set us free.” That is what people wanted.
But Isaiah understood that YHWH is not an on-demand God. Yes, God can and does act powerfully in the lives of his people. But God acts in his time. Until then, his people must wait, and sometimes, change.
Chances are you are waiting for God to move in your life. Most people are. Most people have one or more ideas about what God could/should do in their circumstances. If that is the case for you, then Isaiah has some advice.
He says God comes to those “who joyfully work righteousness, those who remember you in your ways” (v. 5). That is, while waiting for God to move, we should live in joyful obedience.
If you are waiting on God, consider the words of Isaiah. Do you need to amend some things in your life? Of course. Who doesn’t? Use this period wisely. God will act in his time. Until then, seek to become the person God wants you to be.
It’s hard to wait. But a changed life… it’s worth the wait.
Heavenly Father, teach me to wait well. Amen.