Today is based on all of chapter 30 but I have chosen just one section from the middle to focus on.
30:18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.
20 And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
If you didn't read the entire chapter here is the summary which will make the verses quoted here come alive. As we have seen already in previous chapters Judah is about to fall. Her enemies are pressing down on her from the north, mainly Assyria at this point with Babylon coming later. As with all things under pressure they feel the need to relieve the pressure. Their solution is to flee south, in the opposite direction of where the pressure is coming from. They plan to go to Egypt. Here's the problem. They didn't ask God what they should do. When His prophets spoke and gave counsel they would not listen. God called their godless decision making "adding sin to sin". Had they been faithful there wouldn't have been this immense pressure and had they been humble enough to seek His guidance in their trouble He had a better plan than seeking refuge from a nation that would prove unable to help them.
With that context let's explore the verses above.
God is waiting. What is He waiting for? He's waiting for an opportunity. Can't you see it? Can't you feel it? God is so lonely. He longs for a relationship with His children but they know best. They don't need Him. They are going their own way. What does He do in response? He waits. He waits for the phone to ring. He waits for a text, an email, a Snapchat, Instagram, something. He is waiting for any indication that His people are sorry and ready to listen so He can tell them "I told you so" right? No He is waiting for an opportunity to show them afresh how gracious He is. He is waiting for them to turn in His direction so they can see the love and mercy in His eyes.
Look at verse 19. He promises they will dwell safely in Jerusalem again but when? When He hears their cry. That's all He is waiting for and as soon as He hears He will leap into action. In the meantime they may have a steady diet of problems but even in their stubborn refusal to turn to Him and follow Him, He will not remove the true teachers from among them. In them His voice will still be heard. Men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel will faithfully make His paths known even in the midst of their rebellion.
Can we honestly question such love? What kind of husband would treat a wayward wife so well or a wife her husband? Who of us would wait while they run off as unfaithful as can be? Who of us would wait looking for the first opportunity to be gracious and merciful when/if they came back?
No wonder Jesus declared "A new commandment I give to you, to love one another as I have loved You." We don't love as He loves. We even speak against such a relentless love. We say it's unhealthy. We say "cut them loose". That's because we don't know what love actually is.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.
So what direction are you headed in? Who guides your decision making? Are you a long way from Home? Is God waiting for your call? Don't be afraid to make the call. He isn't like us. He's waiting to show you His mercy.