Summary: I believe “Waiting” is a Word God is whispering to His Church today.
HABAKKUK CHAPTER 2: 1 – 3
“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay”
Or as, the King James Version says:
Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Its one of the things we all find so difficult – to wait and especially to wait patiently! Being busy and active, trying to keep up with our often hectic and frantic schedules is one thing, but having to wait just isn’t easy – is it?
Perhaps it’s a case of not being in control. Maybe we have waited so long we have given up. One of the hardest things while selling and buying our new house recently has been all the waiting for things to happen. When it comes to waiting we want it now!
I remember one of those humorously written lists showing how much of our lives are taken up with waiting:
· The supermarket checkout – and yes the queue you pick is always the slowest!
· Waiting for traffic lights to turn red, or even worse for the bus to arrive – do you notice they often turn up - eventually - in twos?
· Waiting in the surgery, looking round and wondering, discreetly of course, what is wrong with people – and sympathising with Mums having to control their lively toddlers in a public place?
· Waiting for your food to arrive in a busy restaurant – and getting hungrier by the minute?
· Perhaps looking back, the times we had to wait for exam results, results of medical tests, all those anxious times of waiting and feeling helpless.
Interestingly the suggestion was that we use those times of waiting to pray – for the people and situations around us!
So, perhaps you can guess our theme today is “Waiting”! But before we begin to look at what the Bible has to teach us on this subject, I want to share with you that I believe “Waiting” is a Word God is whispering to His Church today.
You know the Bible has many examples of God’s people having to wait – often it seems to me beyond endurance!
· Lets take a look at Elijah. Scripture says, “Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land” (1 Kings 17:7).
Can you imagine how it must have been for Elijah to wait, week after week, not knowing how he was going to survive as he watched the brook dwindle and finally dry up?
Extract from Streams in the Desert Devotional book:
“Elijah’s brook dwindled to only a silver thread, … the pools evaporated, the birds flew away, … for the brook became completely dry. And only then, to Elijah’s patient and faithful spirit did the word of the Lord come and say, “Go at once to Zarephath”.
“Most of us would have become anxious and tired, and would have made other plans long before God spoke. Our singing would have stopped as soon as the stream flowed less musically over its rocky bed. We would have hung up our harps on the willows nearby and begun pacing back and forth on the withering grass, worrying about our predicament. And probably, long before the brook actually dried up, we would have devised some plan, asked God to bless it, and headed elsewhere”.
Maybe your brook is running dry today, can I say don’t go off and do your own thing; wait for the Lord to guide you to His next step of provision – like Elijah you will have a new source of supply - freshly baked bread instead of raven’s meat!
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord”. (Psalm 27:14) Patiently wait!
Why does God keep us waiting?
Testing our faith
“He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold”. (Job 23:10)
· Abraham: It was a long wait for the promised child - Abraham was already 75 when he left his country in response to God’s call. After eleven years of waiting Abraham went along with Sarah’s alternative plan - for Abraham to have a child by Sarah’s maidservant Hagar.
However, by taking matters into their own hands only meant a longer wait! It may well be that any human possibility of having a child had to be completely eliminated. For Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac, the promised son was born - and there was an Ishmael to contend with!