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” Hebrews 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”. 2 Kings 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.
Prayer and Faith
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 2 Peter 3:9 “For yet a little while, he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 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? Matthew 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. Romans 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. 2 Peter 3:9
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
3 I Am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
2 He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
3 Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day.
4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.
5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
6 He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.
7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
9 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.
10 He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.
11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.
12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.
14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.
15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.
16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.
17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.
18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:
19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.
35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.
43 Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.
44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
47 Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.
48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission.
50 Till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven.
51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.
52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.
53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.
55 I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.
56 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.
58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
59 O Lord, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.
60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me.
61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Lord, and all their imaginations against me;
62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick.
64 Render unto them a recompence, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.
65 Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them.
66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the Lord.
12 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
2 The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:
4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;
5 Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.
6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.
7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.
9 And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.
12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.
5 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
5 Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.
2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
33 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
130 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
3 If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
7 Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.