Fathers in waiting

Today is, once again, question and answer Sunday. Today is also Father’s Day. So, I am going to put the two together.

Question: “How long do we wait for the Lord?”

I want to talk about this while talking about fathers in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I ultimately cannot answer the “how long” part. This is situational. This also deals with a broader subject of knowing God’s will and how do we know what we are waiting on is something God wants us to wait on. These are specifics that I cannot answer for everybody. I would love to sit down and talk with you about God’s will and what you are waiting on.

A 10 year old girl sent a letter to God.  It read:  Dear God, when exactly will hell freeze over?  My dad said that’s about the time I’ll get my new pony.

I know that people are waiting on a spouse. They are waiting for God to bring the special someone to to them.

Others are waiting on a someone to come back to them. Maybe they have had a disagreement of some sort. Or, maybe their spouse has had an affair. Maybe their child or children have been the prodigal. Maybe their child or children have walked away from God and they are waiting for them to come back.

Others may be waiting on an answer. They are wondering why something has happened to them or has happened a certain way. They may be wondering why they have an illness or a family member has an illness. They are waiting and asking God for answers.

Some are waiting on a new job. They are sticking with their current job, but they hate it. They are sickened by their job. They want a new job and they keep asking God to give them the new job. They want God to help them understand why they are in this current job.

Others are waiting on something else. The question was “How long do I wait on God?” Let’s talk about Biblical examples of fathers waiting on God.

My title is:

Title: Father’s in waiting

I will give some insights on waiting on God.

 

  1. Examples of Fathers waiting in the Bible
    1. I am limiting this to fathers because there are many people who are waiting for the Lord in the Bible. Isaiah 40 even says: but those who hope in the Lord
      will renew their strength.
      They will soar on wings like eagles;
      they will run and not grow weary,
      they will walk and not be faint.
    2. Psalm 40:1: I waited patiently for the Lord;
      he turned to me and heard my cry.
    3. I will summarize the following dads waiting and you can read about them later. The references are in my notes.
    4. Just think about Abraham. In Genesis 15:4 the elderly Abram is promises a son. Isaac was born years later in Genesis 21. In Genesis 21:6 it says that he was 100 years old when Isaac was born. We know that Abram was less than 86 years old when he was first given the promise of Isaac. Genesis 16:16 says that Abram was 86 when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.
    5. Waiting is tough and I imagine Abram and Sarai had a difficult time waiting. They must have thought repeatedly about taking matters into their own hands until they actually did and Sarai gives Abram her maid to mother the child. But that child was not the child of promise. Abram was to wait on the Lord.
    6. Now, here is an important application: Abram was to wait, but God had given him special revelation on multiple occasions of God’s future for him.
    7. We better not get our own idea and claim we are waiting on the Lord. First, we must discern God’s will.
    8. In the New Testament there is another example of a father waiting on the Lord. There are at least two. One of them is Zacharias. We can read about him in Luke chapter 1. He was elderly and had not had any children. The angel visited him and he was told that he would not be able to talk until the baby was born (Luke 1:20). That must have been a long 9 months of waiting.
    9. Another example is Joseph the step father of our Lord Jesus. In Matthew chapter 1 he is going to divorce Mary, but then God communicates to Him. Then in Matthew chapter 2:13 Joseph is told to take the child, Jesus, to Egypt for safety. Then in 2:19 an angel communicates to Joseph to bring the child back to Israel.
    10. Joseph constantly waited, following the Lord’s instruction.
  2. Recommendations on waiting for the Lord
    1. Remember the patience of God: 2 Peter 3:8: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
    2. God is waiting, God is outside of time.
    3. Patience is a virtue: 1 Cor. 13:4: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
    4. David says there are three things to do as you wait –
      1. Wait quietly— “I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5 NLT)
      2. Wait patiently— “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7 NLT)
      3. Wait expectantly— “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised.” (Psalm 105:5 LB)[1]

When God Makes You Wait

In his book It Happens After Prayer, Pastor H. B. Charles Jr. provides the following helpful illustration of why God often makes us wait for the answer to our prayers.

One hot afternoon, a certain woman walked to her neighbor’s produce stand to buy grapes. The line was long. And each person seemed to get special attention. But she waited patiently. When she finally made it to the front of the line, the owner asked for her order. She asked for grapes. “Please excuse me for a minute,” was the answer. Then the owner walked away and disappeared behind a building. For some reason, this rubbed the woman the wrong way. Everyone in line before her was greeted warmly. They were given special attention. And, most importantly, they were served immediately. But she was forced to wait. And when she got to the front of the line, she was forced to wait some more. She was offended. She felt the owner took her regular business for granted. The longer she waited, the angrier she became.

Finally, the produce stand owner reappeared. And with a big smile, he presented her with the most beautiful grapes she had ever seen. He invited her to taste them. She had never tasted grapes so good. As she turned to leave with her delicious grapes, he stopped her. “Oh yeah, I’m sorry I kept you waiting,” said the farmer. “But I needed the time to get you my very best.”

How long have you been in line waiting on God to get to your request? How long have you been waiting in line for God to meet a need, solve a problem, or open a door? Whatever you do, don’t get out of line. And don’t stop praying. Wait on God.[2]

 

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

Prayer

[1]These come from Rick Warren: http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/wait-expectantly-for-god-to-answer

[2] H. B. Charles, It Happens After Prayer, (Moody Publishers, 2013) p. 37; submitted by David Finch, Elk Grove, California.

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