WAITING ON GOD:
Ha a ©o5 of SuDement.
'Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, hare we waited for Thee:... for when Thy judgments are on the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.' —Isa. xxvi. 8, 9.
'The Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.'—Isa. Xix. 18.
GOD la • God of mercy and a God of judgment . Mercy and judgment are ever together in His dealings. In the flood, in the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, in the overthrow of the Canaanites, we ever see mercy in the midst of judgment . In these, the innei circle of His own people, we see it too: the judgment punishes the sin, while mercy saves the sinner. Or, rather, mercy saves the sinner, not in spite of, but by means of, the very
judgment that came upon his sin. In waiting on God, we must beware of forgetting this: as we wait we must expect Him as a God of judgment.
'In the way of Thy judgments, have we waited for Thee.' That will prove true in our inner experience. If we are honest in our longing for holiness, in our prayer to be wholly the Lord's, His holy presence will stir up and discover hidden sin, and bring us very low in the bitter conviction of the evil of our nature, its opposition to God's law, its impotence to fulfil that law. The words will come true, 'Who may abide the day of His coming, for He is like a refiner's fire.' '0 that Thou wouldest come down, as when the melting fire burneth!' In great mercy God executes, within the soul, His judgments upon sin, as He makes it feel its wickedness and guilt. Many a one tries to flee from these judgments: the soul that longs for God, and for deliverance from sin, bows under them in humility and in hope. In silence of soul it says, 'Arise, 0 Lord! and let Thine enemies be scattered. In the way of Thy judgments we have waited for Thee.'
Let no one who seeks to learn the blessed art of waiting on God, wonder if at first the attempt to wait on Him only discovers more of his sin and darkness. Let no one despair because unconquered sins, or evil thoughts, or great darkness appear to hide God's face. Was not, in His own Beloved Son, the gift and bearer of His mercy on Calvary, the mercy as hidden and lost in the judgment t Oh, submit, and sink down deep under the judgment of thine every sin: judgment prepares the way, and breaks out in wonderful mercy. It is written, 'Thou shall be redeemed with judgment.' Wait on God, in the faith that His tender mercy is working out in thee His redemption in the midst of judgment: wait for Him, He will be gracious to thee.
There is another application still, one of unspeakable solemnity. We are expecting God, in the way of His judgments, to visit this earth: we are waiting for Him. What a thought! We know of these coming judgments j we know that there are tens of thousands of our professing Christians who live on in carelessness, and who, if no change come, must perish under God's hand. Oh, shall we not do our utmost to warn them, to plead with and for them, if God may have mercy on them. If we feel our want of boldness, want of zeal, want of power, shall we not begin to wait on God more definitely and persistently as a God of judgment, asking Him so to reveal Himself in the judgments that are coming on our very friends, that we may be inspired with a new fear of Him and them, and constrained to speak and pray as never yet. Verily, waiting on God is not meant to be a spiritual self-indulgence. Its object is to let God and His holiness, Christ and the love that died on Calvary, the Spirit and fire that burns in heaven and came to earth, get possession of us, to warn and rouse men with the message that we are waiting for God in the way of His judgments. 0 Christian! prove that you really believe in the God of judgment.
'My soul, wait thou only upon God t'