And it was revealed unto him [Simeon] by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
It is a truly fearful thing for anyone to see death before seeing Christ Jesus. Death is a fearful thing – it is the portal that will usher us all into a coming judgment. But for the aged Simeon, death was no future fretful fear for he had a promise... that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:26
His eyes were to be illumined by Christ, before death seized its prey. He was to see the Consolation of Israel – the Saviour of mankind. And from the moment he received the Spirit illumined pledge to see the Anointed-One, Simeon knew! Simeon had hope in his heart that his promised pledge would come to pass. By faith, Simeon knew that he would not see death – until…
His future held no fear and each day that passed he must have thought.. is it today…? Few have received such an astonishing promise, but those who received such a pledge, must accept it, unquestioningly by faith. "By faith, Enoch was translated that he should not see death" Heb.11:5. Elijah also knew, from the Spirit, that his transport awaited him by faith, and he was able, through the Spirit’s leading to grant his young disciples request.. and Elijah said:- "if thou shall see me [when I am] taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee". 2Kings 2:10
By faith Enoch, Elijah, Simeon believed the promise and lived in expectant waiting. Enoch waited his translation, Elijah his transport and Simeon to see the Lord’s Christ. Enoch waited for over 400 years and Simeon waited for the rest of his life. Their promise was given, accepted, believed, and they waited in humble anticipation.
No doubt discouragement hit each at times as we see in Elijah. No doubt the passing of time must have raised questions as to, "When Lord When?" None of these men sat twiddling thumbs as they waited the promised blessing. Scripture reveals they were men of God, who knew God and who believed His Word. The bible indicates that they were all men of prayer; men of praise; men of faith. Above all, it shows that they were all men who Waited on God, and waited His timing.
Many Christians believe the Lord’s return is very close – even at the very door. Many anticipated His return would be this year and placed their hope in calculations. Many seek answers in many places, through many teachings with many tears! Many have set dates in the coming year or in a future year yet to be identified! Many have simply changed their mind or altered their eschatological thinking. Many have become discouraged, bemoaning that the Lord delays His coming.
But it is we, not the Lord, that cries and bemoan such delays. God He has promised, for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. The Lord has indeed ‘tarried’ as men consider tarrying – and He’s tarried for 2000 years, and yes– it is hard to wait… sometimes it is very hard. Yet the writer to the Hebrews tells us plainly: "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Hebrews 10:37
If scripture contradicts itself in this point, then it cannot be trusted in any point. The overall message of from Genesis to Revelation it that God takes His time, which may seem an eternity to His creatures, but is all part of His eternal plan. God takes His time for a purpose, not as a cruel trick or a mean manipulation.
But this is no tarrying in the way that God considers tarrying. God has a purpose, and the Lord is not slack or slow as we read in 2Peter 9. "For yet a little while, he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Heb 10:37
Throughout Scripture, we see that God has His appointed times and He will not fail. So why this apparent contradiction? Well, what of that beloved pig-headed, prodigal son or that lovely lost daughter? What of that precious parent or that dearly loved, lost friend… that nasty neighbour? What of the healing and correcting and maturing work He is carrying out in your life? And what of the healing and correcting and maturing He's doing in mine? Could ye not watch with Me… could ye not intercede with me on their behalf, one brief span? Matt.26:40
I believe in the fullness of time we will all understand why the Bridegroom tarried, for we know that ALL things work together for good to those that love God. All things – even things we don’t understand and the things that grieve us. All things - ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Rom.8:28. No, the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2Peter 4:9
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