Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waiting on God's Promise

I recently heard a sermon by Dr. R.C. Sproul talking about Simeon. I confess that my mind wandered and I had to go back to the account of Luke to refresh my memory of this faith-ful saint. As my thoughts juggled back and forth, I kept coming back to two things: the promise and the faith.

We all know that Messiah was promised. He is prophesied about throughout the Old Testament starting in Genesis 3 and weaving a thread throughout the scripture to Isaiah 7 and 9. Micah 5:2 and Zechariah 9:9 talk about the Messiah not to mention the Psalms that are replete with promises of His about Him. Now, think about Simeon. Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that, "...he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ." Simeon acted on that promise and put himself in the way of faith and blessing. What did he do? He went to the temple. Sproul asserted that Simeon had been doing this for years and had become a thing of derision and scorn. Can you imagine being "righteous and devout" and "waiting for the consolation of Israel." Prophets had been quiet for many years. Dreams and visions silent. However, God's plan was still unfolding and this faithful man was faithfully waiting to see it. And what was it? It was none other than Jesus himself, the LORD's Christ. It made me question myself. How patient do I wait? How long can I bear derision and scorn? How purposeful am I when given a vision to complete it? How purposeful in my daily walk with Jesus? Truly, it has been revealed through God's Word and the Spirit's application that I will see Jesus too. I know not the hour or the circumstances, but I know I will see the LORD's Christ. It is coming. Am I devoutly waiting on Him? Am I prepared with a song of praise as was Simeon?

"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

My cogitations did not stop there though as I deliberated on the faith of Anna. We are not told by Luke that Anna had the same revelation as Simeon but that she, "Did not depart from the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up to that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem." Her faith was great. It does not escape my attention or the mention of God's word that she was a widow and one who we can safely assume was of low social stature since she had lived many years as a widow. However, God has no scruple about social conventions of man. He looks at the heart and obviously this elderly woman had a heart full of faith. Her faith was so great that she was always waiting on Messiah. It was before her each day as she prayed. Once again, I had to ask myself some hard questions. Starting with a greater revelation contained in the Scriptures do I wait for the promise devoutly? The promise of Messiah's return is just as real and just as needed today. Do you not sense the desire for Him to come when you survey our geo-political landscape?  Or each day as you suffer with the flesh and the weaknesses that ail us, do you yearn for the restoration of all things in Jesus? What about those sins that wage war within? Do you not long to have them forever put to flight and defeated by the King of all? Above all, do you desire to see the lover of your soul, the redeemer of your life, the one who purchased you with His own blood? Jesus is coming. He will return. How long must we wait? We are not told, but we should be like Simeon and like Anna devoutly waiting on the consolation of our souls, the King of glory.

The promise to us is real, certain, and true. May the Holy Spirit work great faith like Simeon and Anna in our hearts that we may patiently, and devoutly position ourselves to see the King. May we rejoice at His coming as we:

"Lift up (our) heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lordmighty in battle!... 
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory!"  Psalm 24

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