Summary: Patience, The benefits of patiently waiting.
It looks to me like all the kids are going to burst if Christmas doesn’t hurry up. How many days is it until Christmas kids? They will probably scream out 2 days. Yeah, only two days left and Christmas is here. Do you guys think you can wait? Hopefully you will get a mixed expression of yes and no. Have you guys ever heard the story of the kid who peeked at his presents? You better get a no because it is your story. He was ten years old with shaggy black hair and his green pajamas. He watched as his parents walked by his doorway and down the hall to their room. Creak!!!! He heard their door shut with a thud. Now was his chance to take a small peak at the gifts. Soon he heard the crinkling of presents in the living room. His sister had already beaten him to the punch. He ran to the living room and there by the tree he saw his sister’s startled look. She thought she had been caught by mom and dad. Nope, it was just her older brother ready to check his presents. Under the tree stood what seemed like a mountain of shiny red and green boxes. Slowly he scratched at a corner to see the box and figure out what he had gotten. It wasn’t long before he had scratched and pulled at almost every box under the tree. Satisfied that he knew what he was getting, he went to bed. The hours rolled by so slowly as he drooled over getting to play with his new games. Six a.m. took forever but had finally arrived. He tore into his new gifts but the excitement was gone. He knew what he was getting and had thought about it for the last five hours. All the fun of Christmas was gone because he couldn’t wait until he was supposed to open his presents.
Parents, how do you think your kids are doing? Are they waiting patiently or are they about to jump out of their cloths? I bet it has probably gotten a bit worse every single day we drew closer to Christmas. How would you like your children to display patience? How well do you express patience? Do you treat your children with patience like God’s almost infinite patience? I wish I could say that I did but I have been caught up in the instant generation like everyone else. I like instant food! I like instant internet; I think I would almost die if I had to go back to dial-up. How many of you are willing to wait at a restaurant for more than thirty minutes to eat? Today, I am not going to give you the fifteen ways to be a patient person speech. I just want you to learn of three great rewards a patient person receives for waiting for God to act. Simeon had waited his whole life for one single event to occur and from his experience I want you to see what could be in store for you if you just learn to wait.
You will find comfort beyond this world! – Luke 2:25
“And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”
The man known only as Simeon lived in Jerusalem and followed God. We know almost nothing else about the man but we do know what Israel had been through in the last centuries. They hadn’t spoken to God for four hundred years. Not a single prophet came, nor even a whisper came from God for four centuries. How many generations of people must have passed in this amount of time? Let’s say five passed each century. This would mean that somewhere around twenty generations of people passed during the inter-testament period. This is the name for the four hundred years between the Old Testament and the New Testament in your bible. Today, you can find Bibles for around four dollars almost everywhere you go at least here in America but in those days all they had were the scrolls that held the Old Testament. These scrolls never left the temple at any time.
The common person had almost nothing. Simeon seems to be one of these common people yet, he believed in the prophecies of the Old Testament. He knew that someday his waiting would come to fruition. Simeon was looking for the comfort or consolation of Israel. Israel had been ravaged by war and had been conquered several times, most recently by Rome. The inter-testament period was full of religious wars, the desecration of the temple, and the rise of state-religions. Rome now appointed the high priest of the Jews instead of God. The whole Jewish system had been destroyed from its original design by this point in history. Simeon was hoping and praying that God would comfort his distressed and distraught people.