The Lord’s Longing

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

Possibly my favorite Bible verse, certainly right near the top, it speaks volumes of power of God’s love for us all.

God longs to be gracious to us. The word longing pictures His profound yearning and heartfelt emotional desire for our best welfare. You can picture a heart breaking at the desperate situation in which He sees His people as they blindly, waywardly separate themselves from their heavenly Father. As you read through the Bible from start to finish you find that He makes every overture, time after time, in so many ways, to bring His creatures back into fellowship with Him, with sadly so little success.

He continually waits on high to have compassion on us all. This is not a one time occasion. He does not try then and give up. As mentioned above, He has made innumerable attempts to get our attention, and even today continues to reach out to us all. His compassion has never wavered. In the course of human history there have been horrific disasters that the mind simply can’t comprehend. Even the mass killing of young children yesterday is monumental in its incomprehensibility and it is understandable that the question is asked of God, Why?

But God the Father also knows first hand, in a very personal way, such a horrific death, that of His innocent and only Son, Jesus. Just as all parents are inconsolable at the senseless untimely death of their child, God also knows and understands, since He sent His Son to Earth for the very purpose of voluntarily submitting to a brutal death on a cross and bearing in His body the weight of all of the sin of the world. As as we know way too painfully, there is a phenomenally, incredibly, brutal weight of sin that is like Mt. Everest piled up from the beginning of the world that man has perpetrated even until now, and he has not concluded his rampage yet. All this weight and guilt and punishment Jesus bore Himself so that we individually would not have to, if indeed we would accept His free gift of grace. It is this longing of His graciousness toward us, His phenomenal desire that we would be free of the pain and the chain of the guilt and death that sin is holding us in bondage, that keeps Him calling to us moment by moment, in the hope that we might hear His voice and respond.

Are you listening? It is the gospel of grace. Can you hear His voice in the midst of the roar of the world’s noise and nonsense? Can you get to a calm and quite place in order to perceive the difference between His words and the world’s? There is a difference. It makes all the difference.

[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]

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