Friday, December 17, 2010
Good Evening to All!
Tonight's Seed: "and so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." Hebrews 6:15
Waiting. Some days it seems as if that's all we do. We wait our turn to get into the shower. We wait to pay for our gas at the convenience store. We wait in traffic on our way to work. We wait for an important phone call. We wait for a loved one to return to God. We wait.
It's hard to wait patiently. The longer we have to wait, the harder it gets. Abraham is commended for waiting patiently to receive what God promised to hive him. In Genesis 12, God promised to make Abraham into a great nation, to bless him, to make his name great, and to bless all people on earth through him. So Abraham waited. And Waited. And Waited. Abraham waited twenty-five years for God to start fulfilling these promises by giving him a son. that's right! Twenty-five years. And we mumble when we have to wait an extra ten minutes when we pick up the kids after school!
Abraham had no children when God first gave these promises, but the Bible says Abraham patiently waited for God's timing. Patience is a virtue, the say goes. So Abraham was not only the most patient man in the Bible, but also one of the most virtuous! How many of us could wait that long for a promise to be kept? Abraham had not only patience and virtue on his side. He also had faith in God and a certainty that God would keep his promise.
Dig Deeper: The Greek word for "patiently" is makrothumeo, which means to suffer long or be longsuffering and not to give in to despondency. The word is used for being understanding toward people rather than things.
Background Bulb: Although Abraham is congratulated for his faith, he didn't always get everything right. Genesis 15 and 16 records Abraham and Sarah's attempt to "help" God fulfill his promise to them. After ten years of waiting for Sarah to conceive, Abraham lay with his wife's maidservant, Hagar, and asked God to build his line through this son, Ishmael. For the next thirteen years Abraham didn't hear from God. Then in Genesis 17, God finally spoke but not to rebuke Abraham. God affirmed his original promise and told Abraham he would have a son through Sarah. As a sign of his promise, God began the rite of circumcision.
Weed & Water: Impatience, despair, and doubt are temptations that may keep us from waiting patiently. Abraham and Sarah may have thought they misunderstood God's promise. We can learn from their mistake and go to God in prayer, asking for guidance before we try to "help" God fulfill His promises. If God is silent, do nothing and wait patiently. When God speaks, write down his promise and post it at a prominent place. Refer back to the promise often, especially during times of doubt or despair.
Think about it: If you had been Abraham, what may have made it difficult for your to wait patiently?
God viewed Abraham as patient despite his sin with Hagar. How does this help you?
Prayer Pot: Lord, Help me resist despair and to wait patiently for. . . (Insert your own thoughts).
Take-Away Idea: "Waiting is still an occupation. What is terrible is not having anything to wait for.
Good Night and May God Bless!