Thursday, January 26, 2012

Waiting for the Lord

Psalm 130
Waiting for the Redemption of the LORD
A Song of Ascents.

1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.

3 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
8 And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.


As Christians, it seems like we spend most of our time waiting for the Lord. Usually, His timing is not our timing - and so when we pray, we often wind up waiting for an answer. Our hearts are heavy, and we wait for joy to return. Our children are far away, and we wait for the Lord to bring us together (at least by e-mail or Facebook!)

The Bible is full of admonitions for us to wait patiently for many things - but most of all, for the Lord to come. We are to be watching and waiting, expectantly.

In the Psalm above, in verse 5, it says: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.


That word, translated "wait," is qavah (kä·vä'). It means

1) to wait, look for, hope, expect
1) to wait or look eagerly for
2) to lie in wait for
3) to wait for, linger for
2) to collect, bind together
a) (Niphal) to be collected

Notice how there is an element of waiting to be gathered together. In that same verse, the word translated "hope" is yachal (yä·khal'). It means

1) to wait, hope, expect
a) (Niphal) to wait
b) (Piel)
1) to wait, await, tarry
2) to wait for, hope for
c) (Hiphil) to wait, tarry, wait for, hope for

(You can study the meaning of each word here)

So, what does that mean? What does it mean to "hope" in God's Word in this instance? It means that God's word says it, therefore we expect it. God says it will happen, so we wait expectantly for it to happen.

In the next verse, "My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.", that word "watch" is shamar (shamar). It means:

1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed
1) to keep, have charge of
2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life
a) watch, watchman (participle)
3) to watch for, wait for
4) to watch, observe
5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)
6) to keep (within bounds), restrain
7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)
8) to keep, preserve, protect
9) to keep, reserve
1) to be on one's guard, take heed, take care, beware
2) to keep oneself, refrain, abstain
3) to be kept, be guarded
c) (Piel) to keep, pay heed
d) (Hithpael) to keep oneself from

Wow - do you see some New Testament correlation in there? For me, 2 Peter, Chapter 3 is just an expansion of the same thought:

2 Peter 3
God’s Promise Is Not Slack
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us,[a] the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (Those who have stopped waiting!) 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[b] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
(See the reason for waiting patiently?)
 

The Day of the Lord
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.[c] 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Be Steadfast
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
(Do you see the connection to that Hebrew word, shamar? As watchmen, waiting for the Lord, we are to be blameless. Why? One reason is so that others, seeing us, will also be drawn to the Lord.)  15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.


Do you see the connection? Wait - expectantly - believing God when He says it will happen. Wait - patiently - because the reason that day is delayed is so that more will believe in Jesus as their Savior. Wait - on guard, and living righteously, because that day IS coming. 

Look up! Time is short!

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