Nonetheless, the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you,
and will rise up to show you compassion.
The Lord is a God of justice;
happy are all who wait for him.
I hate waiting, it feels like a waste of time that could be better spent on something worthwhile. Traffic jams, answers to prayers, test results, these create a sense of impatience and even anxiety in us because we’re a “I want it now” society. (And yes, it’s about wanting to be in control.) Waiting for babies to be born, waiting for food to cook for a special meal or going on vacation, this kind of waiting creates anticipation for something we’re happy to wait for because we enjoy the results. So we can wait in impatience and fear, or we can wait in anticipation and hope. We actually have a choice about how we wait, we can wait on our own, or we can wait on God.
In these verses both God and Israel are waiting. The Hebrew word used to describe God’s waiting, chakah, means “to long for”, waiting until the last minute, the right moment, to intervene out of compassion. God is waiting for Israel to realize that their ‘Plan A,’ run to Egypt to escape the Assyrians, is going to fail. They are going to need a ‘Plan B,’ rely on God. Except Israel got it backwards, God should always be our ‘Plan A.’ So the Holy God of Israel is again patiently waiting for Israel to turn back to the God who delivered them out of Egypt. Like Israel, we don’t like waiting, waiting is hard, so we try to handle everything on our own, and when that fails, we run to God. Yet God is always waiting, longing to forgive our sins, to love us and show us endless mercy and compassion, at exactly the moment we need it.
The Hebrew word to describe receiving the blessing of God’s compassion is ashar, which means moving in the direction of happiness and peace. It’s the “happy are” part of this verse. So while we are waiting, no matter what is happening, we can wait in peace, happily anticipating God’s blessing on us. And God’s blessing comes, while we are waiting, because God is just and God’s compassion never fails.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you waiting in impatience or are you waiting in anticipation? Are you feeling frustration or peace as you wait for God’s blessing? When we realize that we need God in every aspect of our lives, we turn and wait on the Lord. How do we know that God’s great compassion for us never fails? Because after 3 days of waiting, Jesus rose from the dead to save us.
Prayer: May God’s loving compassion for you, flowing through Jesus and into your life, bless you with happiness and peace, and be with you in all of your waiting. Amen.