Read His Words Before Ours!
Waiting is active. I know that’s not how it’s usually portrayed, but it’s an accurate statement, especially in relation to Biblical matters. Throughout time, all creation has been waiting for things – personal redemption/vindication, fulfillment of promises, changes to situations, deliverance, experiencing a significant event and security in their relationship with God. Let’s unpack each of these as we revisit the previous journeys in this Waiting series.
I can remember times when I have longed for vindication, either for myself or a loved one. But my circumstances never come close to what Joseph went through; sold into slavery, accused of rape, thrown into prison, and forgotten by someone he helped.
The beauty of Joseph’s waiting is that he kept clinging to the Lord, doing what was right, even when he could have decided not too. God had given him a vision and he actively waited for it to come true. Like Joseph, as we wait for vindication in God’s timing, we can do right things too.
Promises are easily made but sometimes just as easily broken. David had a promise from the Lord of becoming Israel’s king. (1 Samuel 16:1-13) But then about fifteen years went by. And during that time, the king he served faithfully repeatedly tried to kill him out of jealousy.
But David neither wavered in his trust in the Lord and nor did he just sit around. Instead he killed Goliath, (1 Samuel 17) served as a warrior against Israel’s enemies, calmed King Saul in his courts, (1 Samuel 16:14-23) spared the king’s life twice when he could have taken it (1 Samuel 24, 1 Samuel 26) and served as a refuge and mentor for a group of about 400 distressed, impoverished and discontented men. (1 Samuel 22:1-2). In the end, his waiting was rewarded, as he became king and was known as a man after God’s own heart. (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22) As David did, we can also use a season of waiting for a promise to be fulfilled to allow God to develop the fruit of the Spirit in us so we can impact His kingdom as we wait.
Hosea was lamenting the unfaithfulness of his wife, waiting for his situation to change, just like he was waiting for Israel to heed his message to be faithful to God. Anna and Simeon were waiting to see with their own eyes, the Messiah as their lives drew to a close.
Israel was waiting 400 years for the promised Messiah who would rescue them and bring redemption. They were waiting to know they were truly loved by God and not forgotten. Each of these were waiting and groaning each day, seeing nothing change with their visual eyes. Can you relate?
How does this echo the groaning of creation and the return of Christ? Each season of waiting I’ve mentioned points to Jesus. Everything they were waiting for can be found in Jesus.
Anna and Simeon laid eyes on the Messiah before they died. His earthly ministry was the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy and promises. (Daniel 9:25-26) Though many did not recognize it, Jesus’ presence on earth was confirmation of God’s unfailing love for His people.
Christ’s finished work on the cross shows how much God thinks His creation is worth – everything. But imagine the disciples groaning for three days because who they thought was their redeemer was dead. And then they realized Jesus had been resurrected. God’s plan and timing was perfect, even though it didn’t line up with their expectations.
The cross and the Resurrection change the spiritual situation and provide personal redemption for all who believe in Christ. That’s worth every moment we’ve spent groaning.
What about the future day of Christ? Throughout Scripture God has laid out His plan. And so creation has waited, seeing hints of it throughout the history of Israel. But we also see the effects of the unfulfilled part of God’s plan in the brokenness of this world; disease, depravity, physical and mental limitations and outright disregard for any real morality and goodness.
When Jesus went back to the Father forty days after His Resurrection, He gave the disciples, who founded what we know as the Church today an assignment. We are to make disciples, teach God’s commands and remind others that God is always with us. (Matthew 28:16-20) In essence, build My church while you wait. Be their hope while you wait for me to return.
But what were they and are we waiting for now? Before Jesus went to the cross, He promised a Helper, the Holy Spirit. He enabled the disciples to begin the work of building the church. (Acts 2) He is who enables us to live out our assignment. And we continue waiting and groaning until a future day when “the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children”. (Romans 8:21)
When will this be? Only God knows. Even Jesus is waiting for God to say “Go get yor bride”. God is waiting for His perfectly selected time to begin the process of creating the new heaven and the new earth. (Isaiah 51:6) Why wait , you may ask. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us God is patiently waiting for “all to come to repentance.”
While we wait for this glorious day, let us groan not with sorrow but with hope. Let’s “make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight.” (2 Peter 3:14)
“Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
Amen. Let us wait for it to be so.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!