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.
(Isaiah 30:18 ESV)
For me to obtain mercy, God must exalt Himself. Why this is so can be understood by reading Acts 5:30-32 where we see that Jesus is exalted as Savior; there is no possibility of mercy for me without a Savior from God. Not only that but God sends the Holy Spirit as a witness of the work of Christ.
An aspect of the mercy shown by God is that He guides us. As Isaiah 30:20 indicates, this may come through affliction — in adversity God will no longer hide Himself but will direct my steps. However, if I have already heard God’s Spirit correcting my blundering and I choose to ignore Him, am I not like those in Isaiah 30:9-11 who are unwilling to hear and do not want to be told about God’s will? In fact my state would be worse because it is not a prophet I am rejecting but God.
For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:9-11 ESV)