The nation of Israel has been like that prodigal son of the parable YAHSHUA told. Over and over, the Bible mentions of their rebellious and adulterous ways, and at the same time, God showing His longsuffering and mercy for them in view of His coming judgment against them. He said, In returning and resting you shall be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength, But you would not. In spite of that, the Lord, in His compassion for the nation, continues offering His love and mercy to His people, Israel. The Prophet Isaiah said, Therefore, the Lord waits to be gracious to you (Israel) and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you (Israel) and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him. (Isaiah 30:15,18). That’s the comfort we find to know that our God will never leave nor forsake us; He waits for us to return to Him in repentance and brokenness of heart. Many a times, we end up in the desert of life because we fail to listen to God. We wonder through it, not knowing where we are going. The Psalmist Asaph, while experiencing the desert of life said, I consider the days of old, the years of bygone times, I call to remembrance my song in the night; with my heart I meditate and my spirit searches diligently: Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy and loving-kindness eased forever? Have His promises ended for all time? Has God abandoned or forgotten His graciousness? Has He in anger shut up His compassion? (Ps. 77:6-9).
The Bible says that God is waiting to be gracious to us. That means, He is waiting to show kindness, mercy and compassion in the life’s desert. He is willing to forgive and place us in the position of sons and daughters after we have left Him, as the prodigal son did his family. Life’s seasons exists to shape us into His holiness. Leaving the winter season to the spring of life, we experience the beauty of His blessings, as in the singing of birds all around, flowers decorating the earth, gentle showers, bringing life to the earth and food for our sustenance. That’s the season of opportunity and the season of God’s favor showering us with grace, mercy, compassion and love. That’s the season He wants to favor us with, after a dreary and gray winter, when the sun sleeps away, only here and there it lifts up its head to warm us up, as if in the desert of life, when God shows Himself now and then to assure us that He is ever waiting to help us. Remember, the prodigal son would not have gained his position of a son, had he not come back to his father. Our God has done all for us in the expression of His great love in the person of His Son. It is up to us to return to Him for forgiveness and a position with His Son in the heavenlies. To know that He is waiting to bless us, it compels us to do what is right in His sight. The desert then, will not look so impossible to face; the winter will not seem so cold to go through.
Moses went through not only the physical desert, but through many deserts of life. When facing the nation’s sin of idolatry, he pleaded with God saying, Show me Your glory. For God’s presence was no longer going with the nation, but He was sending an angel to take them to the Promised Land. Moses then said, If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us from here! (Exodus 33:2,15). The Lord’s faithful servant was needing His favor in that hour, when God had made the decision not to go with the nation he was leading. The sin of the nation weighted heavily on Moses’ shoulders. God, in His mercy, answered him saying, I will do this thing also that you have asked, for you have found favor, loving-kindness and mercy in My sight and I know you personally and by name (Ex. 33:17). Yes, God’s grace was available to Moses when he cried to Him for mercy on behalf of the nation of Israel. The Bible says, O Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him (Ps. 34:8). Many a time we have experienced the Lord’s goodness in our trials. But many a time, we forget to seek Him first in our trials. How can we taste His goodness, if we do not pursuit it? God’s Word is very near to us assuring and confirming His promises. The psalmist says, The unfolding of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple [child-like] (Ps. 119:130). We must open the Word of God to acquire knowledge of Him and His ways. Paul, in pursuit to know God, said, Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege of knowing Messiah YAHSHUA my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (Phil. 3:8).
Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved (Ps. 55:22). These words agree with the Prophet Isaiah’s words, The Lord waits to be gracious to you. As He waits, we must do our part to go to Him for help. It will require our recognition that we are insufficient and weak to do it ourselves. It will require the acknowledgment that only He is sufficient to help us in our insufficiency; it will change our attitude toward God in the way of submission and humility. For it is from Him that we have our life, our righteousness, our consecration and redemption (I Cor. 1:30) (paraphrased). Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in God at all times you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (Ps. 62:8).
THINK ABOUT IT!