Sunday, February 4, 2007

Waiting On God

In what appears to be an instant society that expects instant solutions, instant answers, and instant gratification, we find a very different message throughout the Old Testament and particularly from the Psalms. It's a message of patience and persistence, of waiting on God. Here's just a few references:

3. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed:
let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4. Show me thy ways, O LORD;
teach me thy paths.
5. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:3-5

21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
for I wait on thee.
Psalm 25:21

14. Wait on the LORD:
be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

34. Wait on the LORD, and keep his way,
and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:
Psalm 27:34

20. Our soul waiteth for the LORD:
he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 33:20

7. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9. For evildoers shall be cut off:
but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Psalm 37:7-9

7. And now, Lord, what wait I for?
My hope is in thee.
Psalm 39:7

1. I waited patiently for the LORD;
and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1

18. I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
Genesis 49:18

1. Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
2. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.
Psalm 62:1-2

5. My soul, wait thou only upon God;
Psalm 62:5

27. These wait all upon thee;
that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
Psalm 104:27

13. They soon forgat his works;
they waited not for his counsel:
Psalm 106:13

5. I wait for the LORD,
my soul doth wait,
and in his word do I hope.
6. My soul waiteth for the Lord
more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6

14. The LORD upholdeth all that fall,
and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
15. The eyes of all wait upon thee;
and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Psalm 145:14-15

9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Isaiah 25:9

It might help to read the text that leads up to these next two references to get the context of the events about to unfold. These are interesting because the people are beside themselves and with apparent good reason. They're about to be consumed by the enemy in both cases and they don't appear to be taking comfort in the Psalms. Any chance for survival appears dim and total destruction seems imminent. And then the explicit commands to "stand still"...

13. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
Exodus 14: 13

15. and he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehosh'aphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
17. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17

Waiting on God and standing still...very difficult things to do. It may seem that we have the option of waiting on God. We can choose to or not. The circumstances that elicit a "stand still" seem to have more of a sense of urgency about them. I wonder how many times we've been admonished to "stand still" and experience the salvation of God but were too busy in our own devices to hear.