Waiting is a theme all throughout the Bible and it is a theme of our lives. Isaiah was waiting on a time when God will show up and Zion would be restored. We are waiting for prayers to be answered in many different areas of our lives. And ultimately, as followers of Christ, we are waiting for the day when Christ will return to take us to our eternal home in the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 65:17).
We look forward to a time when sin is no more. But in the meantime, we wait. We wait for treatment, because in this world marred by sin, sickness is rampant. We wait for restoration, because in a world filled with sinful people, we have conflict, hurt, and acts of selfishness. We wait for freedom and justice, because evil often seems to win the day. And we wait for physical and material blessings, because unlike Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden before sin entered the world, our bodies give out and we must labor hard, sometimes without reward.
So, what is the right way to wait on God? As Psalm 33:20 tells us, “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” In this prophetic passage, Isaiah remembered God’s showing up at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19) and finds comfort knowing that since God showed up before, He will act again on behalf of His people! He even goes so far as to say, “You haven’t seen anything like what God will do when He shows up!” He trusts that God will intervene and he knows that when God does, it is going to be amazing! Some 2700 years after Isaiah, we also wait in hope, remembering how God acted in Scripture and how He has acted in our lives.
Also, we fix our eyes on Jesus. Isaiah desired for the Lord to “rend the heavens and come down” and Jesus has done just that. John 6:38 says “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” Jesus came to live among us sinners so that in Him we might have eternal hope and righteousness before God. He is the culmination of our hope!
Finally, we can encourage one another in the wait. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Help us Lord, to wait together in hope. Help us to trust your timing and your purposes. Most of all, help us to lean on Jesus in whose name we pray, Amen.
Isaiah 64:1-7 (ESV):
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?
6 We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7 There is no one who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
Psalm 33:20 (ESV):
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
John 6:38 (ESV):
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.