Not everything in the book of Isaiah is as encouraging as this passage. Much of this book is an admonition to people who have failed a Holy God. Some of us can remember our parents telling us as children, right before they punished us, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” At the time, we cannot believe that is true. But when we become parents and we have to punish the wrong behavior of our children, we understand exactly what they meant. A parent’s desire is to love his child, not to punish. In this passage, we see the true nature of God. We see His heart’s desire. He longs to be compassionate and gracious to us. More than anything, He wants to shower us with His love. But just as a parent also has the responsibility to discipline, so does God. He is also a God of Justice, and therefore, He must “wait” to show compassion.
And we pray:
Father, I know that You are a God of Compassion and Grace. I realize that You long to shower me with blessings. But I also know that You must discipline me when I am wrong. I may not like it, but I understand and appreciate it. I would rather be disciplined by a Loving God than punished by a just God. Guide me with the Love that You have for me. Help me to do Your Will in ALL things. Amen.