“Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed….”
Psalm 25: 3
King James Version
“Learning to Wait”
“Great haste makes great waste. Adopt the pace of nature. Her pace is patience.”
Is there a time in my life when I have rushed ahead of God’s leading trying to get what I want?
What was the result?
“The great believers have been the unwearied waiters.”
“And they (the children of Israel) put him (Shelomith’s son) in ward, that the mind of the Lord might be shewed them.”
Leviticus 24: 12
King James Version
My 89-year-old father-in-law came to the United States over 60 years ago from Cuba. While he still has fond memories of growing up in Cuba, he is one of those individuals who has embraced his new home, the United States, with every fiber of his being. I’m always amused by his great love for all things “western.” Several years ago, he started collecting old western movies and I must tell you, he’s an expert on the genre. Whenever I find myself wanting to watch an old movie, especially one about the West, I call “Papa” and ask him for a recommendation. Not long ago, he told me about a picture starring the fabulous actor, Burt Lancaster, called the Lawman. In this film, Burt Lancaster plays the “supposed” good guy who decides to take the “law into his own hands.” As the movie progresses, you watch in horror as doing what’s right is obliterated by the human drive to do things “my way.” Perhaps this is why we find pictures and tales from the Old West fascinating. For often, we humans, in our longing to see immediate justice done, allow a lynch-mob mentality to drive us to places we could never have imagined.
In the story of Shelomith’s son, the child of an Israelite and Egyptian, we find a young man who came into camp and immediately got into a fight. Who knows why or what the fight was about, but we do know that this young man became so angry he blasphemed and cursed God, which was in direct disobedience to God’s divine instruction. After this intentional disrespect of the God of Heaven, what should happen? We need to remember that when Aaron, the high priest’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, disrespected God and brought “strange fire” before the tabernacle, a story told earlier in Leviticus 10, that “fire went out from the Lord and devoured them.” Their disrespect of the divine office of the priesthood and their disregard for God’s holiness made it impossible for them to survive in the presence of a Holy God. And while it may look, at first glance, as though God killed these two for not doing what He said, I’d like to offer the perspective it was their own disobedience which caused their demise. Just as Adam and Eve were told by a loving Father to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so all the children of Israel were told directly by God that His holiness was so powerful we sin-filled beings must not be thoughtless or disrespectful when coming into His presence.
It would have been easy for the children of Israel to make the assumption in the case of Shelomith’s son that they could take his punishment into their own hands, immediately. However, as we read this story, we find instead, when this young man was brought to Moses, rather than impatiently taking action into his own hands, the Bible tells us, all the people waited until the “mind of the Lord might be shewed them” (Leviticus 24: 12, K.J.V.).
I have to tell you I am constantly amazed by what I learn when I really study the Bible, all of it! Here in Leviticus is a text we should mark well and even highlight in red ink. Wait so that, “the mind of the Lord might be shewed them” Leviticus 24:12)
As I read this text, I thought about all the pain I could have saved myself in my own life if I had waited until I had known “the mind of God.” The great reformer Martin Luther, known for his short fuse and desire to push ahead, wrote these instructive words, discerned from personal experience: “Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him. In Hebrew, ‘Be silent in God, and let Him mold thee.’ Keep still, and He will mold thee to the right shape.”
I know this is what I want in my life, to be molded into the right person for the right task at the right time by my Father in heaven.
Not long ago, I was pushing ahead, impatient as usual, for God to do something I’d asked – but on my time line and in my way. Then one day as I was working on the daily devotional, I found these words by the great Dave Wilkerson who, I am certain, could write a book just on the topic of “waiting upon the Lord.” I now keep these words taped over my office phone to remind me to always ask God to “shew me His mind” before I plow ahead with what I think is the right thing to do: “It took me years to discover the premier lesson that God has a timing all His own and that I must not be impatient when His timing doesn’t coincide with mine.”
“(She) who waits on God never waits too long.”
that comes to mind
I am impatient,
waiting for something I want to happen.
I pray, “in God’s time.”
I tap my fingers.
I want to move; I want it to happen
I guess I’m learning, little by little.
why does it take so long?
Patricia Daniels Pierce
“God never imposes a duty without giving time to do it.
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus