by Steven Chan
In Prov 20:22, the Bible says: “Say not thou, I will recompense evil: Wait for Jehovah, and he will save thee” and in Psa 37:7, the Psalmist counseled thus: “Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
Being impatient often afflict us. We live in a world where we expect instant gratification and fulfillment of our wants and needs. So when things do not work out immediately to our satisfaction, we fret and complain. When evil is done to us, we sometimes retaliate immediately. The Bible counsels us not to recompense evil but be patient and wait for the Lord to save us from evil-doers. So in Rom 12:17-21, the apostle Paul wrote thus:
“Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The Psalmist testifies for our benefit in Psa 40:1-5:
“I waited patiently for Jehovah; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay; And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah. Blessed is the man that maketh Jehovah his trust, And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Jehovah my God, are the wonderful works which thou hast done, And thy thoughts which are to us-ward; They cannot be set in order unto thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.”
God works according to His own timetable as He knows what’s best for us all. So we need to patiently wait for His deliverance or for His answers to our prayer requests while we commit our plans to Him and work all things to His glory. The Bible says in Lam 3:24-26: “Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Jehovah is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Jehovah.”
Waiting for God’s blessings is not an easy thing to do. King Saul grew impatient while waiting for Samuel to turn up to make an offering to God so that the Lord may bless and deliver the Israelites. He then proceeded to make the offering himself. Samuel told him of the drastic consequence of his act. Due to his impatience, he committed a grave sin in making the offering on his own which he was not permitted to do. Let’s read the account in I Sam 13:8-14:-
“And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither the burnt-offering to me, and the peace-offerings. And he offered the burnt-offering. And it came to pass that, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt-offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines assembled themselves together at Michmash; therefore said I, Now will the Philistines come down upon me to Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favor of Jehovah: I forced myself therefore, and offered the burnt-offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly; thou hast not kept the commandment of Jehovah thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would Jehovah have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: Jehovah hath sought him a man after his own heart, and Jehovah hath appointed him to be prince over his people, because thou hast not kept that which Jehovah commanded thee.”
Waiting for the Lord does not mean that we do nothing. We still conduct our lives in such a way that brings glory to Him (I Cor 10:31). We cannot just laze around and do no work whatsoever (2 Thess 3:10). But it means that we need to commit our ways to the Lord and trust Him to bless and guide us: Psa 37:4-5: “Delight thyself also in Jehovah; And he will give thee the desires of thy heart. Commit thy way unto Jehovah; Trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass.”
When we walk with the Lord patiently waiting for His blessings and guidance, “He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa 40:29-31).
May we learn to trust God and in His Word and wait patiently for Him: “I wait for Jehovah, my soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope.”(Psa 130:5). In 2 Pet 3:9, the Bible assures us that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise…” and according to Gal 6:9: we should not grow weary in well doing “for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.