This blog post is based on Psalms 62. In this Psalm there is a repetition of thought from King David; verses 1-2 and 5-6. Various scriptures came to my mind as I read this Psalm. The first was Isaiah 40:28-31; Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. The emphasis here is the waiting on the LORD. I find it difficult at times to wait. In this microwave, instantaneous gratification society we live in makes waiting an inconvenience. Waiting has good results if we are the patient to wait on the LORD. Most of the time believers get frustrated and anxious when trying to move faster and to have to wait on someone else. The Lord is not in a hurry, and He is never late. The advantages of waiting on God to work, takes the burden of results off me. I also can renew my strength through the resting/waiting time. Another aspect of these duplicated verse is Waiting in Silence. I have seen several radical instances of impatient “road rage” because someone was delayed by another driver – silent they were not! In our waiting, we are to trust in the Lord for the delay. In John 11, Mary and Martha had to learn this valuable lesson from Jesus who waited extra days before going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. In waiting for the Lord to act, we are not to just do nothing, but in prayerful silence – no whining and belly aching about the delay. If we really want what God wants then we will not take matters into our own hands like Abraham and Sarah did with Hagar. Now that was a lesson in waiting that has not gone away! King Saul lost his throne because he didn’t wait for Samuel the Priest to come and offer sacrifices, but instead took matters into his own hands.
Another aspect of these verses is how we build on our faith. Matthew 7:24-27 tells of two people building their lives on two extremely different foundations. One chose sand, the other chose rock. As it goes, storms come to all in life, the waves will thunder against the foundation of our life – depending on the contraction material is the result of whether the house remained. It seems that to build on sand, you can make a wonderful sand castle, the only problem is it gets washed away at the first wave of conflict or storms. But with the Rack foundation, one has to carve out with much tenuous labor I might add a place to live. It may take longer and be a hard laborious task, but it holds up. This isn’t to say the thunderous waves won’t cause fear and anxiety, but they Rock will hold. The song, of My Anchor holds in Christ the solid Rock – this rock is Jesus. We are secure in Christ, we are protected and loved. Can we not wait for Him to act? The Psalmist goes on to says, The Rock of my salvation, My stronghold; I will not be shaken. The Rock of our salvation isn’t just to ride out the storm, but to seek refuge, protection in the arms of God. A quiet place of comfort and strength. This is confidence in Christ. Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to not lean on our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths. The waiting may be difficult, but the wait is worth it!
This week we have come to the end of Genesis, but it seems more like an intermission. Like the break between major acts in a play or musical. When we conclude this book of Beginnings, we have Jacob [Israel] having moved to Egypt and having lived there for some 17 years before his death. The dreams of Joseph have been true and acted out according to God’s plan. Joseph’s rise to high level in Egypt has enabled his to position his family – all 70 of them into a fertile land called Goshen; separated from the Egyptians and able to live out their culturally unique lifestyle. Joseph has saved his family, Egypt and surrounding nations from certain starvation. Now, we know that God the Father was at work to save Israel; but many were the benefactors because of His grace and mercy. The intermission as I call it will last some 460 years; just as Elohim had told Abraham in Genesis 15:13. This is quite a break from the story, but nevertheless now the last time God will have a great intermission. The time between the Testaments will be a 400 year silent period. I wonder what the purpose was for such a long period? There are times in our personal life where it seems that God may not be speaking. This times of “silence” can and are often very disturbing for us. We have an expectation that God should be speaking all the time. I have had many such times in my life, of which I was unnerved because they occurred. I had to learn that the silence doesn’t mean something is wrong or right, it is just a time of silence. The doubt comes to us when the “silence” happens that we have done something to offend our Lord. I have had to remind myself that with my earthly father, he didn’t always get up in the morning and tell me that I was his son. I already knew that I was his son, and really didn’t need daily affirmation. However, many believers struggle is God hasn’t somehow affirmed to them continually that they are “sons” of God. Why do we need these words of affirmation all the time? The flesh, human nature or lack of self-confidence? I am not really sure. I do know that we like to be reassured that everything is okay in our relationships – to the point that we want to hear it from people. Think of this, women like to hear the “I love you’s” from their husbands, and if they don’t it unsettles them. SO they ask “Do you love me?” Nothing has changed, but silence is troublesome for us.
I have to admit I wonder about those extended periods in the Bible where nothing was going on [well at least written about] and the people who lived during that time. We will find out in Exodus of the harsh living conditions the people had to endure. From a position of such favor, to one of jealousy and heavy burden. *****Note, I do understand that the time in-between the Testaments was very busy from a worldly standpoint – God was at work preparing the world for the right conditions that would maximize Jesus’ ministry – Galatians 4:4. I would suppose the same must be said about the time in Egypt. Times of ease are often times of apathy and falling away – such as life in USA. Israel had a good life while Joseph was in charge, they would not leave such a “great situation” on their own. In fact we find that even as hard and difficult it was to live in Egypt – the people constantly wanted to return to such a life. God was blessing and preparing Israel for the next significant chapter in His Plan. Good times are enjoyable, but difficult times are for growth. [James 1:2-5]
So if you find yourself in a silent period of your walk with the Lord, enjoy it and get prepared for the Lord is about to do something that you will need all your strength for. Isaiah 40:31 – key verse in learning how to wait on the Lord. Trouble is none of us like to wait!