God acts on behalf of those who wait ∙
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down. – Isaiah 64:1
1 A psalm of David, the servant of the LORD. He sang this song to the LORD on the day the LORD rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang: I love you, LORD; you are my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
3 I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.
4 The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me.
5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path.
6 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals.
The Battle of the Alamo was a 13-day siege that ended March 6, 1836. General Santa Anna’s troops killed most of those inside. During the siege, commander William B. Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies. They were reinforced by fewer than 100.
Unprepared to confront the Mexican army with his poorly trained force, general Sam Houston refused to come to their aid. Instead, he began a series of strategic retreats designed to give him enough time to prepare his army and whip his soldiers into fighting shape.
Houston’s decision to retreat infuriated his officers and troops. They scorned him for not being eager to fight the Mexicans. They chafed at Houston’s insistence on learning proper military training. Finally, after almost a month of strategic withdrawal, it was the right time, the waiting was over. Houston ordered his men to turn around and engage Santa Anna’s forces in a place of his choosing.
On April 21, 1836, Houston’s Army attacked and thoroughly routed the Mexican army. Santa Anna was taken captive and signed a treaty recognizing Texas’ independence.
For the Texans, the Battle of the Alamo became a symbol of heroic resistance and their rallying cry became “Remember the Alamo!” The Lone Star Republic was born. In the end, Sam Houston became a great hero, and Texas honored him in many accolades. A Texas city bears his name: Houston.
Many children of the King become discouraged when the Father does not move on their behalf according to their time schedule. Others cannot imagine that the Father would even desire to come to their assistance.
It is so sad that doubt is a part of the DNA of all fallen people, even the children of the King. When the Father does not act, we simply lose faith. How can we believe in a God who does not ever seem to do anything? The truth is we all face this gut-wrenching question at one or another. We are surrounded by national and international upheaval. Everything seems to be in flux. There is no end to it and it seems to be getting worse. On top of that, we carry our own heartbreak. Yet we long for the Father to act.
The Jewish nation has been through this experience multiple times. The Babylonians crushed Judah and turned Jerusalem into rubble. The prophet Isaiah openly conveyed their dark doubt.
11 Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people?
12 Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand– the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever?
13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling.
14 As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led your people, LORD, and gained a magnificent reputation.”
15 LORD, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now?
Did Isaiah pull away because of doubt? Absolutely not. Isaiah drew closer to the Father than ever. He boldly prayed to the Father seeking His help.
Isaiah 64:1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down.
Difficulties and the consequent doubts we experience are actually extraordinary gifts from the Father. They expose our lack of faith and a tremendous need to draw ever closer to the Father. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.
James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
REFLECT & PRAY
Sadly, so often we cannot imagine how God will move on our behalf. Yet He does exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). We can confidently expect that He will act when we wait for Him in faith (Stanley).
Father I work it in pretend to manage my life successfully. But I cannot. I need You desperately. Rend the heavens and come down.
In the bizarre atmosphere of 21st-century pandemic and post-pandemic fears, lockdowns, ambivalence regarding vaccination, it seems far easier to lose our temper, our good sense, and fall into fear and doubt. From the Father’s perspective, we are simply in a waiting room where hard lessons are taught and hopefully assimilated. Perspective transformation, patience, and hope are among the results.
Why does the Father so often ask us to wait? Waiting has many wonderful outcomes.
1. We discover His plan and purpose.
2. We receive supernatural physical energy and strength. Impatience drains us and wears us down. Actively waiting on Him energizes us. Waiting on Him is never wasted time!
3. We win battles. When we do things in His way and in His time we overcome. We are kept from foolish and precipitous acts.
4. We see our faith substantiated and realized. We are never put to shame or embarrassed by waiting on Him (Isaiah 49:23).
5. We see God working on our behalf. The Father works for those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:4) (Stanley).
Although we are the children of the king, due to our fallen DNA, waiting is one of the most difficult things for us to do. Yet, waiting is not time wasted. The Father uses these times to sift our motives and strengthen our faith. When we choose to wait, the Father produces benefits that often are quite unexpected (Stanley).
The Father is our great hero, He has a city named after Him as well: The City of God.