WAITING FOR GOD
by Wayne S. Walker
"I will wait for You, O You, his Strength; for God is my defense" (Psalm 59:9). The heading of the Psalm identifies it as "A Michtam of David, when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him." This event is recorded in 1 Samuel 19:11, after David had married Saul’s daughter, Michal. Apparently, she loved her husband enough to warn him of Saul’s treachery and help him escape. The Textus Receptus, Majority Text, and Syriac version all read, "his Strength," but some Hebrew manuscripts, the Septuagint, the targums, and the Latin Vulgate read, "my Strength." David trusted in God as his strength for His judgment on the wicked. He did not take matters into his own hands, but said, "I will wait for You."
Most of us hate to wait. Who enjoys sitting at a traffic light? We live in a very rush-rush, hurry-up, keep-on-moving type of society, and usually if people say that they will meet us at a certain time, we expect them to be on time. We just do not like to be kept waiting. Why would the Bible to tell us to wait for God? The fact is that God simply is not limited or bound by time as we are. "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). Aside from the fact that we do not live that long, how would we like it if someone told us that he would do something tomorrow, and we had to wait a thousand years for it?
Yet, waiting for God is important. God promised Abraham an heir of his own loins (Genesis 15:1-4). However, Abraham and Sarah decided not to wait for God but took matters into their own hands and had Abraham father a child with Sarah’s handmaid Hagar, which, unfortunately, cause no end of other problems later on. Saul was king, from the tribe of Benjamin, not a priest from the tribe of Levi. Rather than waiting for Samuel, the priest, to come and offer the sacrifice, Saul decided that as king he could go ahead and do it. However, this was a rejection of God’s way and brought about God’s rejection of Saul (1 Samuel 13:8-14).
The prayer of today, for those who still believe in prayer is, "Lord, give me patience, and, Lord, give it to me now!" We always want to see immediate results. We are like John Henry Newman who wrote, "I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou Shouldst lead me on; I loved to choose and see my path, but now Lead Thou me on." Letting God lead us on often means waiting for Him. Our problem is that we "do not know what will happen tomorrow" (James 4:14). God does. Therefore, instead of constantly demanding that God do this or that right away, we should remember that "tomorrow will worry about its own things; sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34). Yes, there are things which God says that we must do. But when we have done everything within our power, we should simply wait for Him who is our Strength and Defense.