The Keynote of Life
When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.(Psalm 14:7)
“I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord!”( Genesis 49:18) It is not easy to say exactly in what sense Jacob used these words, in the midst of his prophecies in regard to the future of his sons. But they do certainty dictate that both for himself and for them his expectation was from God alone. It was God’s salvation he waited for; a salvation that God had promised and that God alone could work out. He knew himself and his sons to be under God’s charge. Jehovah the Everlasting God would show them what His saving power is and does.
The words point forward to the at wonderful history of redemption, which is not finished, and to the glorious future in eternity whither it is heading. They suggest to us how there is no salvation but God’s salvation, and how waiting on God for that, whether for our per experience, or in wider circles, is our first duty, our true blessedness.
God cannot part with His grace, or goodness, or strength, was an external thing that He gives us, as He gives us raindrops from heaven. No; He can only give it, and we can only enjoy it, as He works it Himself directly and unceasingly. And the only reason that He does not work it more efficiently and continuously is that we do not let Him. We hinder Him either by indifference or by our self effort so that He cannot do what He would.
What He asks of us, in the way of surrender, and obedience, and desire, and trust, is all comprised in this one word: waiting on Him, waiting for His salvation. It combines the deep sense of our entire helplessness of ourselves to work what is divinely good, and our perfect confidence that God will work it all in His divine power
Andrew Murray in Waiting on God
The original Greek indicates the word used, saved, as a phrase, being saved, which is a continuous process. Those of us who live life with lists of things to do that we can mark off as finished often become challenged with the idea that there are things that are works in progress. We bring with us into the church the idea, that if we or someone we wish to become a Christian, will start coming to church, we can check it off our list. But we know that just coming to church doesn’t make one a Christian anymore than going to the barn makes us a horse. So we wait for the next item on the list, the “going forward”. When that happens, we again check our list and mark off that item. Since we believe that baptism is an important part of salvation, we schedule one and as soon as the person gets wet we check it off our list. We can now breathe a sigh of relief, task done. It the Bible doesn’t teach three step salvation. It teaches a lifetime of change, progress, transformation and relationship building between God and man. Hence the Greek being saved. The problem with three step salvation is that it is man driven. Man goes to church. Man goes forward. Man is baptized, and so forth. The salvation that God has provided is God driven and God orchestrated. It occurs in God’s time and Gods way. The tendency of humans is to want to direct and control the process so we create religion. As we read Exodus, we find that not long after leaving Egypt, the Israelites who had become tired of waiting on God and Moses made themselves a god they could see and worship. Many will say that we are wiser than that, we don’t have golden calves. However, anything that we set up, that we have created to connect us to God outside the work of Jesus through the cross is a golden calf. As we consider the pandemic, it is noteworthy that we are attempting to handle it with our own abilities. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not opposed to any efforts being made. My observation is that thus far our best efforts have only given minimal results. We are told there’s no vaccine or medical interventions that are known and the only sure way to stay safe is to practice social distancing. I wonder what the effect of called prayer and bringing this crisis to God as the children of Israel did when in slavery under the Egyptians. I believe that one lesson that we should learn in this crisis is our total dependency upon God. As for me, I fully trust God for the beginning and completion of my salvation. I have not and cannot in any way deserve or earn His grace and mercy. They are gifts from Him to a needy, weak, struggling human being. I had no part in His plan of redemption. I just received His grace because He first loved me. I don’t know the way to heaven so I trust Him that when my moment comes to make that trip, He will come and take me there. You all hear me say this often, all that I am, ever hope to be; all that I do or hope to do is only through Him and by Him. I call us a believers to lay aside our plans and programs and self efforts. Let us go into our prayer chamber and place ourselves and our burdens at His feet. Let us trust Him with the outcome. Let us wait for His acts and His work to deliver us, to save us and to restore us. He’s able but He won’t take from us what we hold on to. He will only work with what we freely give Him. May God give us grace and patience to trust Him and “wait on our salvation”.
Dr. John Thompson