February 17, 2014
"Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount
up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will
walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31 NASB
In my previous post I described the unfortunate outcomes of a few Old Testament friends who failed to wait upon God. Though I would place the older Israelite generation in the same category as those who failed to wait well, the Israelite children proved more faithful than their parents while waiting in the wilderness.
The first practice I notice about Israel's wait in the wilderness is that the children of Israel received their nourishment daily from the very hand of God. Each morning God placed before His
children a bread-like substance called manna, which literally means,
"What is it?" The children of Israel waited forty years to enter the Promised Land. But the children of Israel began each morning with the same practice--seeking out the food their Master had provided.
God has given the same daily nourishment
to us through His Word. Like the children of Israel it is up to us to seek out each morning
that which God has provided. At first we may read God's Word and
ask, "What is this? What does it mean?" But the more we pursue God's
Word the more the pallets of our souls will learn to crave this
spiritual manna. "People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)
While waiting in the wilderness Israel also became very attuned to God's movement in their lives. Scripture tells us the Israelites wandered
through the wilderness for forty years. But God never lets His people
wander alone (Hebrews 13:5). God led the children of Israel in a pillar
of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Numbers 14:14). The Israelites rarely knew when God would call them to move or even where God would have them to move next. Instead, Israel learned to seek God's direction daily. I envision the children of Israel poking their heads out of their tents to ensure God's continual presence in their lives.
While in a
season of waiting we must remember we are not alone. God is in the
could, He is in the fire, He is in the depths of the deep. God will show us when it is time to change direction. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6 NASB
The third practice I notice about the Israelites time of waiting is that they continued to worship God with all their heart. Much later in Scripture God's people would have to travel longer distances to worship God in his temple. In the wilderness, however, God camped among His people. God instructed His people to build the tabernacle right smack dab in the middle of their camp. Each morning when they awoke the Israelite children had a visual reminder of the One whom they were to worship.
To whom do we give our attention each morning when we awake? When life grows hard do we, like Job, fall to our knees in worship (Job 1:20)? Or do we turn and desert Him (John 6:66)? "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." Mark 12:30
While in the wilderness the Israelites had no other choice but to wait upon God.The
Israelites' time of waiting deepened their desire for, their trust in
and their worship of God.
For what are you waiting?
For a baby, whether through conception or adoption?
For a husband, whether waiting for a husband or waiting for a husband to change?
For healing, whether physical, relational, emotional or spiritual?
For a job?
For circumstances to change?
During our time of waiting let us continue to seek the Bread of Life each morning, to watch for God's movement in our lives and to worship the One who loves us most.
God Himself gives life in the wait.
will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of
joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:11 NASB