In today’s world, we’re not the best at waiting on things. We like fast food, fast internet, fast video streams, no wait times at the hospital or the DMV … the list could go on. So, when the Bible tells us (more than once) to wait upon the Lord, what does this mean? Does it mean to sit and wait for something to happen or does its meaning run deeper than this?
We think it’s a little bit of both.
What does it mean to wait on the Lord?
Waiting on the Lord does involve some literal periods of waiting on Him to take action on promises. For example, the Israelites in the Old Testament would often have to wait hundreds of years for the Lord to send a prophet or to fulfill a promise.
God has a timing for everything, and part of our faith in Him is trusting that He will fulfill His will in the right timing, whether we’ll personally witness it or not.
We think this passage from Isaiah sums it up the best:
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s the Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
They walk and don’t lag behind.
- Isaiah 40:27-31 (MSG)
The Hebrew word used here is “Qavah.” Its meaning is deeper than simply being patient for an event to come. Qavah means “to wait, look for, hope and expect.” When it comes to waiting on the Lord, there is a time period during which patience is required, but our waiting is fueled by hope and belief that whatever good we wait on from the Lord will come, not might come.
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At Unfiltered Radio, we explore what it means to wait on the Lord and other tough questions presented by the Bible in our podcast series. Check it out to learn more about what it means to authentically follow Christ.