Genesis 49:18 I wait for your salvation, O Lord.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, and making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Hebrews 3:14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Hebrews 12:2 . . . looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Last week, I wrote about perseverance. It is something I wonder about often. Some Jewish people are still awaiting the Messiah. I have a difficult time with this as it is like Waterford Crystal clear to me that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, and it was about 4500 years after God created Adam and Eve. God created the world, the first humans, and then watched as sin took hold and progressed like mold in a damp dark area.
God decided to end the world as it was full of sin, so directed Noah to build an ark and gather animals of male and female sex, and to pass the word that God was going to send rain, and rain and more rain, so they should come to the ark and be saved. But those people laughed and jeered at Noah, and then died in the floods, as did all the other animals, except those he had obediently gathered on the ark. This was about 1656 years after Creation.
Then, Noah’s family began to populate the world again. Some were good and obedient. God chose Abraham to be the Father of the nations—all chosen people would descend from him. It was about 422 years from the flood to Abraham. As an elderly man, Abraham fathered a son, Isaac, and Isaac fathered twin sons.
One of which, Jacob, then had 12 sons from four different women, and at least one daughter. One of his sons, his favored, Joseph, was sold into slavery with a Midianite caravan and ended in Egypt. Joseph, after many hardships including prison, was then chosen by God’s design to be wise and rose to serve pharaoh. Knowing food supplies would be limited, he started gathering and saving food in storage facilities to help feed the people during a prolonged famine.
Joseph believed in God, and faithfully sought Him. When his family came seeking food, he gave it, then had his family moved to Egypt. The Israelites, started by the 70 relatives of Joseph, thrived, prospered, and multiplied, and then because of fear, the Egyptian government started enslaving them. Joseph and all he had done for the country of Egypt, forgotten.
God then chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to a Promised Land He would show them.
Through the enslavement in Egypt to Moses freeing the Israelites, then to the time of the judges to the years of the kings and finally be captive and enslaved to first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians captivity was another 70 years and is about 4775 from creation to the birth of Jesus.
Yet, the Israelites knew there was a Messiah coming. They had waited about 4000 years after the flood. Because selfishness and self-centeredness is such a primary compunction of humans, there was sin. Not everyone heard from the Creator, but many did. God chose many to be prophets, some to be judges, but all to tell the people to return to obedience and honor Him alone.
But the people demanded a king so they could be like other nations. They were invaded by the Assyrians, then later by the Babylonians then were allowed to return to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. This was now about 520 years before the Messiah would be born.
Things got complicated when the Messiah did not come, the Priests and Levites assumed they were better than the average person—after all their tribe (Levi) was chosen by God to be His special entourage—to lead, to guide those persons to offering sin sacrifices, to make atonement for the sins of all people. But it led these priests to believe they were in a more powerful and closer position to God. They started adding laws and heavy taxes to their own people, inventing rules God had not given, and making things much more difficult to follow than God had designed. God wanted rules to keep people safe, protect them from various illnesses and so forth. The priests just wanted to usurp authority.
After about 4800 years after creation, the Messiah came to a young couple, fathered by the Holy Spirit. His birth had been predicted by many different prophets, and each of the predictions has been accurate. But who’d have thought it was an innocent babe forced to spend his first few hours in a manger, in a stable—with little protection or privacy.
So, except for very few people—his mother, ‘his human father’, an elderly woman named Anna, and an elderly man, named Simeon who worked at the temple, none knew the Messiah had been born. Both these elderly people had been reassured by God (as they were devout believers who persevered in their faith, they would see the Messiah before they died.) And, because of God’s knowing how devout they were, He rewarded their perseverance.
God had shared the bright star and led both the poor shepherds and some wise men to the area, but those were all who were made aware the Savior had come.
Most of the folks who had heard the prophets’ writings in the scrolls for years did not know or recognize, this young man from Galilee as the long-awaited Savior promised throughout Scripture. Once He made His ministry known, a few came to follow. But belief spread, with the miracles, His healing, with His manner and love and acceptance of all. It was the common man who yearned to spend more time with Him, while the religious leaders feared His power and the loss of their authority and privileges. These religious men were unable to recognize the very one the prophets had told them of for centuries. And after all, his own siblings did not see him as anything special. They chided and goaded him.
But since we have the entire Bible, we can read all the of the predictions and promises from prophets in the Old Testament. The New Testament records the life, sayings, and actions of Jesus. We KNOW He came, He lived, He died, and He rose and ascended to the right side of the throne of God. For me, I find it easier to persevere knowing all the promises and the sacrifice He gave for all of us who believe. But I think I would have found it difficult to persevere and keep the faith during OT times.
What does it mean to wait expectantly? “It means we don’t fret or wait fearfully. We wait, expecting God to engage in our world while faith fills our soul with expectation.” Dec 5, 2018, Wisdomhunters.com
So many persevere during their struggles—living enslaved, for example. I saw and went through Dachau Prison and “Work” camp several times when I lived in Germany. It was NOT a pleasant trip; it certainly was not a pleasant place to be held behind barbed wire fences and held in cold cement barracks. It was graphic. My point is I doubt I would have survived—been able to persevere—if I had been rounded up, separated from family and children, forced to live in such degrading circumstances. How does one maintain hope? Frequently, the prisoners had to watch as their friends, family, children were marched to the cement box where the gases were infused.
Since my walk with the Lord has deepened, I find it easier to wait. My patience has improved, many things I wait for, I can shrug off with the thought that it’ll happen when it happens IF it is God’s will. I am more accepting of God’s timing than I used to be. My patience has deepened, and I trust in Him. Satan may tease and whisper how my wait will never be over, it is just not going to happen. . .but I have read the Book. I trust Jeremiah 29:11, and I will wait hopefully for the promises. But persevering in difficult prison-like conditions. . .I am not sure I could do that and come out on the other side.
I think it somewhat easier to persevere with the new covenant. The death of Jesus, the Messiah, resulting in the removal of sins for all who believe in Him.
Having the entire bible—Old Testament, and the New Testament—all proving what was promised, sin would be punished for a time, until repentance, which happened repeatedly to the Israelites. A Savior would come and set us free. We have the New Testament showing what Jesus said, where He walked, what He did, how He loved, then how He went to His death, like a Lamb, silent and without malice because only He knew that His sacrifice would save the world—or at least all those who believed in Him, waited and persevered for Him, repented and lived to please Him.
Father, I am so glad of Your design to give us a way to receive forgiveness and atonement for our many sins by having Your Son, Jesus, be the final blood sacrifice for me. Thank You for all You have done for me and ‘mybellaviews.’