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Lessons in Obedience

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

Why wait? It's a matter of obedience. It's because God tells us to do just that.

I began humming a contemporary song, "Wait, wait, wait on the Lord..." as I checked my well-worn bible to find God's words commanding us to wait.

"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

Good start. I need to be strong, maybe not run anymore, but most certainly, even with my new cane, I need to walk without falling down!

Then I remembered the prophet Moses. He went up Mount Sinai with his assistant, Joshua, to meet with God on behalf of His people so as to hear from God and to receive the first "epistle" of the Bible, the Ten Commandments written by God's own hand on both sides of two stone tablets. (Exodus 32:15)

"And he said to the elders, 'Wait here for us until we come back to you.'" (Exodus 24:14a)

Forty days and forty nights went by. The people waiting below got restless. For God had much to tell Moses about building a sanctuary, the tabernacle with all the complex details, including meticulous descriptions of the garments of the priesthood who were to minister to Him there.

Those below, undoubtedly bored with waiting for so long a time, began to take things into their own hands, pressuring Aaron into making them a substitute god, an idol, of a golden calf they could worship! It wasn't until later that their descendants were to hear these exhortations:

"Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! (Psalm 27:14)

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him..." (Psalm 37:7a)

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning..." (Psalm 130:5,6)

The prophet Micah repeats the admonition to wait. "Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me." (Micah 7:7)

Continuing in their hope for the Messiah's coming, we read the same reminder: "The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD." (Lamentations 3:25, 26)

When their Savior, Jesus the Christ, did come, many recognized and believed, only to learn they, too, needed to wait and watch. "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)

Jesus was crucified, buried in a tomb, rose again the third day. Forty days He walked the earth. Just before ascending into heaven, He spoke words of waiting. Can you picture yourself assembled with His disciples, listening to Jesus as He spoke?

"And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit, not many days from now...But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'" (Acts 1:4, 5, 8)

Would you have been willing to wait those ten days in the Upper Room with the 120 others for the Holy Spirit to come upon you? More so, are you willing to wait for His power today, for your own personal Pentecost experience?

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© Constance Vanides