AN ACCEPTABLE TIME Psalm 69

It’s hard to wait when you want things to happen right now.  As if held back in neutral when gears are raring to roar into drive.  When I pray, and it doesn’t happen, then I start to wonder if some sin hasn’t put the kibosh on it.  Okay, I’m forgiven, but what about my comeupance?  Those dreaded consequences. 

When you think about it, my mind’s image doesn’t sound like the God I know from the Bible.  More like me.  Tit for tat.  An eye for an eye.  As good as one gets.  Payback time.  Not so my Lord.  He loves me and thinks the world of me…and you.  What He wants is for us to untangle those looney thoughts, putting them more in line with what the Bible says.  Too much to ask?

Let’s check out Psalm 69: 13–‘But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.  At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.’  Prayer’s answer comes in an acceptable time.  Whose time?  Mine?  Probably not.  More like God’s plans.  His will.  His call.   Galatians 4: 4-5 announces God’s acceptable and impecable timing–‘But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of woman…to redeem…so that we might receive adoption as sons.’

Old Testament saints pray for millenia that Messiah will come and save them.  We also must wait for God’s ‘fullness of time’.  Whatever prayer we utter to God, step back, cool your heels, hold onto Jesus’ hands and never, ever let go until answers come of God’s own choosing and timing.  Not mine, not yours or anyone else’s.  We bow to Him alone.

Here’s more.  Psalm 31: 14-15–“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’  My times are in your hands…”  That hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it?

Lord Jesus, help me to trust you more and more.  Amen. 

LITTLE BY LITTLE Exodus 23: 20-33

Stop grousing about reading from the book of Exodus.  I know.  Exodus has lots of chapters about the architecture and furniture of the Tabernacle, along with long sections of laws and regulations, which seem out-of-date to us modern know-it-alls.  Me…not you!

Today I notice a phrase in Exodus 23 that stops me in my tracks.  This happens frequently now that I spend more time in my Bible.

First, let’s consider the context.  God is instructing His people on worship and godly living after liberation from slavery in Egypt.  Here in Exodus 23: 20, God reassures them that He’ll be sending His angel to guide and protect.  All He asks for is obedience, a willingness to follow His ways.

The Lord will go ahead of His people to clear the land of the ungodly.  To give His own a country.  This freeing up from enemy peoples will not happen in the twinkle of an eye.  No.  ‘But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land’ (Ex. 23: 29-30).

There’s the phrase that gets my attention.  ‘Little by little…’–repetition drives home the point.  God’s goals for His people will take time.  Many years in their case.  Not lickety-split.

I don’t want to hear this.  I crave it now… or how about yesterday?  I’m not getting any younger.  Come on, God.  Get going.  Get moving my way!

Oh how I need to remember that God works at His own pace…in His own time.  May not be to my liking, but His will is always far better.  The best really.  Which is why I need to hear that phrase again– ‘little by little…’  Slowly but surely.  He’s not done yet.  ‘Little by little…’

 

Thank you, Jesus, for perfect timing.  Amen.