I read this verse this morning:
“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.”
This verse is part of a rebuke of the people of Israel: They were refusing to trust God for help, refusing to listen to his prophets, and refusing to listen to his Word. They were facing an imminent threat of destruction, and were seeking help from other nations, not the LORD. This would bring about their destruction, when all along God is pleading with them to seek him for their rescue.
This situation in Israel exposes a common problem: we trust our own plans over God’s and we refuse–sometimes subtly–to listen to him and seek him.
But we do well to listen: God exalts himself to show mercy. He is waiting patiently to show grace and mercy, and when you seek him and trust him and receive his mercy, he glorifies himself. You bring God glory by receiving his mercy and grace.
When we refuse to come before God, humble and in need of mercy, we are only seeking to glorify ourselves. So we need to repent, and worshipfully fall before the throne of grace for help in our time of need.