Luke 2:25-26 (ESV) — Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
A lot of life is waiting. Couples who discover they are having a child wait for months for its arrival. Students wait years to finish their education. Kids wait until their sixteenth birthday to get a driver’s license. Adults wait to find the right job or to buy their dream home. Waiting is an inescapable part of life.
One of the big themes found in Scripture is waiting. The people of God waited for the promises the LORD gave them to come to fruition. Abraham and Sarah waited for a child. David waited for his turn to reign as king of Israel. The nation waited for the promised Messiah. This theme of waiting for the Messiah is crucial in Scripture. God promised to send a Redeemer to the nations who would be crushed for the iniquities and sins of His people (Isaiah 53). God’s people knew the promises and longed for the day of their fulfillment. Even the prophets longed to see the promises of the Messiah’s coming fulfilled (Matthew 13:17).
Our passage today introduces us to one individual who waited. Simeon was a righteous and devout man. He loved the LORD, and the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah come. Imagine this promise! Millions of Jewish men and women had lived and died waiting on the promise to be realized. Their faith rested on God’s faithfulness to do what He says He will do. They had to trust God’s timing. They relied on His wisdom to determine when the Redeemer would come. But Simeon trusted God’s word to Him. He waited with faith.
Faithful waiting is the lot of Christians. Before Jesus’ birth, God’s people waited for the Savior’s arrival. After Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, believers await the Day He returns to make all things new. We wait in a world filled with afflictions, suffering, and sorrow. We wait on our inheritance in Heaven, but we trust the One who made the promise. This Advent season, as we reflect on how people throughout the Bible were waiting on God’s promise of the Christ to be fulfilled, let’s remember He fulfilled that promise. He will fulfill His promises to us too. We can show our trust in God through our waiting with faith, trust, and hope. We do not lose heart when the wait is long. Our hearts cling to this: God keeps His Word.
Questions for Reflection:
- Why is waiting such a difficult practice for us?
- How does God use waiting in our lives to mature us in the faith?
- What are some promises of God you are waiting on Him to fulfill?