A few Wednesday’s back, our sermon was on Isaiah 40:31. Rather than focusing on the Eagle aspect of the verse, Pastor explored the word “wait”. I found a nugget in there that I would like to explorer further.
Here’s the verse:
KJV: Isaiah 40:31. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
According to Strong’s, wait is “qavah” in Greek, which means ” to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect:–gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).” Pastor centered on the fact that “wait” is closely tied to “serve”. The prime example is a waitress at a restaurant serves the customers. While we are waiting on the Lord, we are to be serving Him right where we are. A waiter prepares for serving the customers even before they enter the restaurant such as filling the condiments and wrapping the silverware in the napkins.
The part that caught my eye was the “expect” and “look” parts of that definition. “Binding together” just didn’t seem to fit in a definition for wait. The only thing I can make out is a concept like in gleaning back in Ruth’s day. Ruth went to Boaz’s field and waited on the harvesters to finish their work expecting that they would leave some food afterward for her. When they were done she collected the food and bound it together in a sense to take home. Does that sound right? Sounds like an element of faith involved in the definition to me.
In Pastor’s sermon, we explored different examples of Bible characters who waited. Let me go back through those…
Noah waited for the water to subside before he could leave the Ark. He had plenty to do as far as serving with all those animals on board. He had to feed and take care of them. He also was expecting God to take care of them with a safe place to live after the flood.
Abraham and Sarah waited for Isaac. Abraham is the picture of faith. He waited for Isaac looking for God to bless him with nations.
Joseph waited in prison for God to fulfill his dreams. Joseph did lots of serving at Potiphar’s house, and then, in prison he earned much responsibility. He performed his duties such that the prison keepers gave him much liberty. I’m thinking that you can tell by the fact that he asked to be remembered as he told the dreams that he had not lost hope of getting out of prison to fulfill his own dreams.
Jesus waited for His time to be fulfilled. He did the work of a carpenter for 30 some years, and then, when he began His public ministry, He traveled and taught tirelessly. There was never any doubt as to Jesus’ expectations. When we look back on His life, He was focused on the cross and achieving the atonement for our sins.
Mary and Martha waited at the bed-side of Lazarus. I am sure they served Lazarus when he was sick and could not get out of bed. The story makes it clear that they expected Jesus to come and heal Lazarus. If they hadn’t, they would not have been so disappointed.
Believers in general are waiting for His return. This is where we come into play. We are to be serving while we wait. We are to also expect His return. I think also in the meantime, we are to expect his blessings and fulfillment of promises. One such promise we should expect is the renewed strength promised in Isaiah 40:31.