Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)
This month’s verses centered around compassion- the compassion Jesus showed during his time on earth and the compassion we are called the show to those around us. This final verse on compassion from Isaiah is a verse of both comfort and conviction. This verse comes after many lines of the Lord condemning Israel for their rebelliousness. They carry out plans, seek shelter, and act, but not in the protection and will of the Lord. Yet the Lord shifts tone in verse 15 to say:
"For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”"(ESV)
The Lord calls his people to return to him and to seek shelter, not in the things of the world, or the in Israelites case, Egypt, but instead to find rest in his presence. However, still the Israelites turn away; the verse continues: “But you were unwilling, and you said, No! We will flee upon horses.” Despite the Lord’s invitation to enter into his presence and follow his way, they instead follow their rebellious hearts.
Yet, as we see in verse 18, the Lord is patient. He waits for his children to return and when they do he responds in compassion. Not just that, but he rises up to show compassion. This mirrors the story of the prodigal son in the image of the Father running to meet his son at the gate.
That is the Lord’s heart for you today. Return to the Father and rest. Thank Him for his compassion and in turn, show that compassion to those you meet.
What does the word compassion mean to you?
What does compassion look like as a feeling? What about as an action?