Waiting On A Promise

I don’t consider myself to be an impatient person, however, I do have my limits.

Waiting becomes difficult when I’m behind the wheel of a car…

Waiting becomes difficult when I accompany my wife, mother in law, and girls to the Christmas Store in Pigeon Forge, TN. They can stay in there for hours! Fortunately, I’ve learned to navigate my way out of that one.

But, it’s hard to wait on things sometimes if we’re honest with ourselves.

I can’t spend more than 20 minutes in the Christmas Store, but I can sit in a deer stand for hours. Mr George Wheeler says that, “Deer hunting is hours of idleness accentuated by split seconds of spine tingling excitement.” But even when it may be something I enjoy, waiting can become difficult.

If you’re a child, right now is one of the most difficult times of the year. You’re still in school, Christmas holidays haven’t rolled around yet and the days before your out just drag on forever, and ever, and ever. You’re managing some big things in your life right now, your busy doing extra chores around the house hoping to impress your parents just before Christmas, hoping to up your odds on receiving that one gift that you want, but you’re unsure if it’ll find it’s way under the tree. And let’s not even talk about waiting for Christmas Day! It seems like it’ll never get here. Adults, do you remember waiting for Christmas as a child? Now Christmas comes around too quickly every year, but when you’re young, it takes for ever. It can be difficult to wait on things sometimes.

Perhaps some of the wisest and truest words about waiting were penned in and put to song back in 2005. I’d like to read you a portion of it if I could..

Sittin’ on a bench at West Town MallHe sat down in his overalls and asked meYou waitin’ on a womanI nodded yeah and said how ’bout youHe said son since nineteen fifty-two I’ve beenWaitin’ on a woman
When I picked her up for our first dateI told her I’d be there at eightAnd she came down the stairs at eight-thirtyShe said I’m sorry that I took so longDidn’t like a thing that I tried onBut let me tell you son she sure looked prettyYeah she’ll take her time but I don’t mindWaitin’ on a woman
And I don’t guess we’ve been anywhereShe hasn’t made us late I swearSometimes she does it just ’cause she can do itBoy it’s just a fact of lifeIt’ll be the same with your young wifeMight as well go on and get used to itShe’ll take her time ’cause you don’t mindWaitin’ on a woman
I’ve read somewhere statistics showThe man’s always the first to goAnd that makes sense ’cause I know she won’t be readySo when it finally comes my timeAnd I get to the other sideI’ll find myself a bench, if they’ve got anyI hope she takes her time, ’cause I don’t mindWaitin’ on a woman

“Waitin’ on a Woman – Don Sampson & Wynn Varble

In all seriousness, perhaps the hardest thing to wait on is God. At the risk of quoting Mr. George two times on a Sunday morning, another saying he has is, “God is the God of the 11th hour.” If that’s true, what do you do when you have to wait? What do you do while you’re waiting?

Let’s put ourselves in the lives and minds of the men and women of the Old Testament. Every day one could pick up their scriptures and read about the promise of a Messiah. The earliest mention of the Messiah can be found all the way back in Genesis 3.15. But notice these scriptures that talk about the promised Messiah…

  • He will come through the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15).
  • He will come through the line of Shem (Gen 9:25-27).
  • He will come through the line of Abraham (Gen 12:3).
  • He will come through the line of Judah (Gen 49:8-12).
  • He will come through the line of Jesse (Is 11:1a).
  • He will come through the line of David (2 Sam 7:10-13; Ps 132:11b).
  • He will come from the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
  • He will come as a child and a son (Is 9:6a).
  • He will be born of a virgin (Is 7:14).
  • He will be called “Immanuel” (Is 7:14).
  • He will be called “the Lord our righteousness” (Jer 23:6; 33:16; cf. Mal 4:2).
  • He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Is 9:6c).
  • He will come in humility (Zech 9:9).
  • He will serve as a prophet in Israel (Deut 18:15, 18; cf. John 6:14).
  • He will bring good news to the afflicted (Is 61:1-3).
  • He will crush the head of the Serpent (Gen 3:15).
  • He will wash away the guilt of sinners (Is 4:1-4).
  • He will serve as a channel of divine blessing to the world (Gen 12:1-3).
  • He will be rejected by man, pierced by the Jews, and crushed by God the Father (Is 53:1-12; Zech 11:4-14; 12:10; 13:7; cf. Ps 22; cf. Dan 9:26a).
  • He will die as a substitutionary sacrifice for guilty sinners to provide forgiveness and salvation (Is 53:1-12; Zech 3:9).
  • He will be resurrected from the dead (Ps 16:10; cf. Acts 2:31).
  • He will come again in judgment upon the nations (Is 63:1-6).
  • He will bring destruction to the enemies of Israel (Num 24:15-19).
  • He will reign in perfect peace, justice, and righteousness as King over the entire earth (Gen 49:10; Num 24:17-19; Ps 2:6-12; 110:1-7; Is 9:6b-7; 11:1-16; 42:1-4; Jer 23:5; 33:14-2; Zech 9:10).
  • He will build the Temple of the Lord and rule on His throne as Priest (Zech 6:12-15).
  • He will unify and restore the nation of Israel (Ezek 36:16-38; 37:15-28).
  • He will feed and protect Israel as her divine Shepherd (Ezek 34:23-31; 37:15-28).
  • He will bring salvation to Israel and reign over her as King (Is 49:5-6a; Micah 5:2; Jer 23:5-6; 30:21; 33:16; Ezek 37:15-28).
  • He will be appointed as a covenant to the people and a light to the nations of the earth (Is 42:5-6; 49:6; cf. Is 55:4; cf. Mal 3:1).
  • He will be given glory and everlasting dominion over all the nations of the earth, and His kingdom will be established forever (Dan 7:13-14; 2 Sam 7:10-13; Ps 132:11b).


13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,

  • Note the emphasis on God’s greatness.

14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”

15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.

16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.

  • People are not the end all in greatness, as evidenced by the practice of calling on someone or something greater than themselves when confirming an oath.

17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,

18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie,


22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord

  • Referring to the time mentioned within the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 12), 33 days after Jesus’ circumcision. Making Jesus just under 6 weeks old.

23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”)

24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”

  • The fact that Joseph and Mary offered birds in their sacrifice, demonstrates their lack of financial prosperity. The normal offering would require a lamb.

25 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.

  • Simeon is obscure in biblical history, yet he serves as a reminder that most champions of the faith are relatively unknown. Although he may be unknown, his character speaks volumes.

“righteous” – he did what God required regarding his relationships to God and man.

“devout” – he was reverent toward God, meaning he carefully considered the things of God, or negatively speaking, he worried about the things of God.

“waiting for the consolation of Israel” – he was a man of faith. He believed in God’s impending renewed comfort and hope for Israel.

“Holy Spirit was upon him” – He was led by Spirit.This also authenticates his blessing.

26 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.

  • One of the reasons Simeon maintained such strong faith in God’s redemption was in the Spirit’s revealing to him that the Messiah would come in His lifetime.APP: We must also maintain our faith, just as Christ came, scripture promises His return.

27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law,

28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 

29  “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 

30  for my eyes have seen your salvation 

  • as in, the means of it.

31  that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 

  • Salvation through Christ is not God’s ‘plan B’. Rather, it is something that He has prepared, or planned.

32  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” 

  • all nations


18 …we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

  •  flee to safety

19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,

20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.