Summary: Lessons from Simeon and Anna: Wait Patiently for God’s Will (Don’t Waste away) Worship (Don’t Wallow) In this way your life will be Fruitful, even when you are old
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
This morning I’d like to take a look at the primary function of two of God’s almost unknown servants, Simeon and Anna.
Simeon’s function was to wait, “He was waiting for the consolation of Israel” So the Holy Spirit had told him he would live until the Messiah came. The Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit moved him to the temple courts. And, it seems, Simeon’s grand calling was to wait.
He wasn’t the first to be called of God to wait.
Noah was told a flood was coming-it took one hundred years.
Abraham was told he’d have a son through Sarah-it was twenty-five years later the son was given-long after it was impossible for Abraham or Sarah.
Abraham was also promised he would inherit the land-four hundred years later his promise was realized.
Joseph was promised his brothers would bow down to him-it happened maybe twenty years later.
Moses was told to lead Israel to the promised land-they entered the promised land forty years later, after Moses was dead.
Caleb was promised the hill country, his inheritance came after he was eighty years old.
Samuel was sent to anoint David as king of Israel-he was not crowned till more than twenty years later.
Nathan told David there would be a king to sit on his throne forever. That king was born one thousand years later.
Simeon was part of a long and illustrious line of waiters.
What about you?
What are you waiting for?
When I looked up the topic of “Waiting on the Lord” on the internet, at least half of the hits were concerning waiting for one’s marriage partner.
God has given many great and precious promises in His word.
“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory”. Are you waiting for His provision?
“Give, and it shall be given to you, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing . . .” Have you given to God, are you waiting for Him to give back, pressed down, shaken together-are you waiting for the overflowing abundance?
“Won’t the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?” Are you waiting on the Lord for the gifts, or some special gift, of the Holy Spirit?
Are you waiting for that uncle to be healed, that bill to be paid, the prodigal to return,
Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent about forty days later.
If you want to experience God’s promises you have to be willing to wait.
John Milton wrote:
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
John Milton-On His Blindness
It seems Milton may have been waiting for restoration of his sight. By the time he completed this poem, likely by 1665, he was completely blind. Some might expect his career would have been over. Yet the works for which his is now best known were written after his blindness-Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, the History of Britain, and “of True Religion” were all written after John Milton had entered a world of darkness. Perhaps he, better than most, understood “they also serve who only stand and wait”.
What are you going to do while you wait? I think Simeon, and our next consideration, Anna, both set a wondrous standard for us to strive toward.