”°THE BEAUTY OF WAITING”± By Pastor YAU
Text: Psalm 62:5-12 December 15, 2013
1) The culture in the world: With so many things we want to do, so much we want to achieve and all the demands we face each day, we wish we have 48 hours a day to finish our job or duties and we never have time to wait. That is why we almost have everything instant: cooking food, communication with family, friends, business. Even with driving, we can't wait to get to the place we to want to go instantly. We have faster cars, computers, cell phone, instant everything. Recently, someone has invented a car with wings and jet engines that can fly. Amazon just tried to deliver packages 5 pounds or less to your doorstep by a drone within 30 minutes of your online order. While there are advantages to do things faster, to arrive places sooner and to have more things done in shorter time, we have been molded to live like machines only focus on speed without meaning, quality or value.
2) The culture in the Bible: There are over 130 times the word ”°wait”± is listed in the Bible, and God gives much credit or virtue to ”°wait”± or ”°waiting.”± This is in direct contradiction with that of the world that has influenced many of us to be impatient in waiting. Even in the natural world, God shows us the need of waiting such as time it takes to grow a plant, to grow a baby to a child, to heal a wound or to recover from sickness. There are things, particularly good things like home cooked food, it always takes more time and we have to wait. Waiting is an important part in Christian maturity, and it is God's way to deal with many issues in our lives. God never rushes to do things, but always takes time to show us what he will do; sometimes much longer than we want him to. It is through waiting, we become clearer to see how God works.
WHEN DO WE WAIT FOR THE LORD: (2 Samuel 15-18) It is when . . .
1) We think we are very secured: Almost all Bible scholars agreed that Psalm 62 was written by King David when he had to run for his life in the middle of night from the pursuit of his own son Absalom. Absalom schemed a coup at Hebron against his father and set out a hot pursuit for the life of his dad. It was in that extremely dangerous situation, David sensed the need to seek and wait for deliverance of God.
2) We face the least expected: It is possible that a king becomes suspicious that someone in his court might do something to undermine his security, but no one would imagine his own son could set a coup against him. If there is one place we could feel safe, that must be our own home and family, but that was not in David's case. Throughout history, it is at the fallout of our security net, we need to wait for the Lord.
3) Betrayed by the most trusted: In the coup led by Absalom, many of the closest of David's court betrayed him and defected to support Absalom against David. Betrayal is one of the most heart-breaking experience in our life that set us no choice but to wait on the Lord to protect us. Jesus tasted that bitter feeling when he was betrayed by Judas, one of his own disciples.
WHY DO WE WAIT ON THE LORD? (Psalm 62:5-8) Because . . .
1) The Lord is our hope: ”°Find rest in God alone; my hope comes from him.”± (62:5) David always had so much hope in Absalom because he was tall, attractive, smart, good in oracle skill, among others talents. David had high hope that Absalom will be a good king for his kingdom someday. But he never expected Absalom wanted the kingdom before his time. When we lost hope in people, we can turn our hope to God.
2) The Lord is our rock: ”°He alone is my rock.”± (62:6) In the Bible, ”°rock”± is often used to symbolize a strong foundation. While many people build their life on other foundations like wealth, fame, power, success, we people of God need to build our life and all that we do on the only rock, God.
3) The Lord is our salvation: ”°He alone is my” salvation.”± (62:6b) Salvation means ”°deliverance from peril or great danger.”± Facing danger beyond our ability is part of real life to all people. Instead of looking for human help, we need to wait for the Lord to save and deliver us. David advised us ”°better to trust the Lord than trust princes.”± (Psalm 118:9)
4) The Lord is our fortress: ”°He is my fortress, and I will not be shaken.”± (6c) A fortress is the best defense in time of war and attack. People live in fortress will be safe and secured. What are the people of things that make you feel safe and secured? Family, friends in high position with power, money, social status or anything else? We read and see that no one and nothing may truly provide the security we need in time of great danger. God is the only one we can truly trust and depend on for our security. David said when the Lord is his fortress, he ”°will not be shaken,”± not be afraid.
5) The Lord is my honor: ”°My honor... depends on God.”± (62:7) Historically, no one in history of Israel, had achieved any honor higher than that of David. The Star-of-David on the national flag of Israel is a proof of this. But David realized that the true honor come from God, not from people. Many of the successful in politics, business or even the church received honor from the people in one day, just to be forgotten soon after their glorious days are over.
6) The Lord is our strength: ”°God is the rock of my strength.”± (62:7b) When David was younger, he had the strength to kill lions and bears to save his sheep. (1 Sam 17:36) But now he was in his old age, he couldn't fight for his life or save it from his rebellious son. He recognized that lasting strength only comes from his God. In time of danger and trouble, wait on the Lord for his strength to go through the darkness of the tunnel.
7) The Lord is our refuge: ”°Trust in him all the times, O people pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”± (62:8) A refuge is a place for refugees in time of war, natural disaster or other calamities. It is a safe place to rest tired body and soul in desperate situation. When bad things strike, and we feel vulnerable, helpless or hopeless, we always can go to the Lord because he is the best refuge for our numbed soul and tired body.
RESULTS OF WAITING ON THE LORD:
1) We shall not be shaken: ”°He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”± (62:6) Most of us will feel shaken when we face life and death situation as David faced. But David didn't feel shaken because he waited on the Lord and had a strong faith in the Lord like stay inside a fortress. This is an important and comforting promise of God: Even in the face of a life threatening situation, we will not be shaken because we have the Lord as our fortress. Knowing the Lord is our shield and protection, there is no reason we need to feel shaking.
2) We can pour out hearts to him: ”°Trust in him all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him.”± (62:8) While we wait on the Lord for protection, we are in best condition to pour out our hearts to him through prayer. Too often we are panic, get busy to find our own ways to solve problems only God can solve, so we can't sit down and calm down and present our case to him and ask for his guidance. In many really bad situation like what David faced, we will try to find advice, opinions, human wisdom or help to solve our problems. But David kept quiet and he only poured out his heart to God who has all the understanding of his problems.
3) We will be able to hear God: ”°God had spoken once; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.”± (62:11) When we pour out hearts to God, he hears our cries; when we wait on the Lord, we are able to hear his voice of love, comfort and guidance. This is a two-way communication when we are willing to wait on him. How often we were unable to hear what God wants to tell us when we are so busy trying to solve our problems, seek to find our way out. It was in that quiet moment after the thundering commotion Elijah was able to hear that still voice of God. (1 Kings 19:12)
4) We will renew our strength: ”°But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”± (Isaiah 40:31) By far this may be the most popular verse in the Bible about the blessing from God on those who are willing to wait on him. Often enough we feel crushed, weaken and desolated when we face terrible situation, but God has a formula for us to get out of that pitiful emotional and spiritual condition: He will renew our inner strength so we can face tomorrow with confidence.
APPLICATION OF TRUTH:
1) We have a bad culture: No one can argue that not all fast things are good. Many people rush in making important decisions and suffer consequences of life time. Others eat fast food most of the time and suffer health problem in their later life. Things like raising a baby, building a family, dating a life mate all takes long time to have the best result. Speed is not everything in real life. Simple things like driving, eating a meal, enjoy a chat with a good friend and many others, if we can take time to do it, we will harvest the sweet result. In matters of spiritual growth and character, it takes much longer time and patience to build. Life is a journey, we need to enjoy the beauty of the trip, not just rush to get there fast.
2) Choose the good culture: A biblical culture, a culture of patience to wait on the Lord in all life circumstances. Particularly when things turn south, we can wait for the Lord to deal with it for us. There is no guarantee of smooth sail in life no matter how much we wish it would. But we have God to walk with us through the ups and the downs. Even facing the unspeakable situation, we have no fear because God is waiting to lead our way out if we can be patient and wait for him to handle it for us. No one is stronger, has more compassion on us than our God. God said, ”°Be still and know I am God.”± (Psalm 46:10)