God will REWARD those who ‘WAIT’ upon HIM
October 22 Bible Reading: Luke Chapters 1-3
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." (Luke 2:25-32)
Simeon was one of the godly remnants of Jews who was waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Sometime before Jesus Christ was born, the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would see the long-awaited Messiah before his death. In fact, Simeon would not die before seeing the Lord’s Christ or the Anointed One. There is a mysterious communication of divine knowledge to those who walk in quiet, contemplative fellowship with God. “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him” (Psalms 25:14).
Simeon was specifically guided by the Holy Spirit to enter the Temple at the precise moment that Mary and Joseph were there with their six-week-old baby Jesus. After that, Simeon was supernaturally instructed that this baby was the promised Messiah. He was not only able to see the baby along with his parents, but he could also lift the baby into his arms and utter a special prophecy about Christ being a light for the Gentiles and the glory of Israel.
There was nothing special about Simeon that qualified him to take up the Christ child in his arms and bless Him. The Bible scholars insist that Simeon was not an ordained religious leader, and he had no credentials or special authority. He was simply a “just and devout” man who had a close walk with the Holy Spirit. Simeon (“God hears”) is an example of how God honors those who engage in lifetimes of quiet prayer and constant watchfulness and waiting!
Simeon was waiting for “the Consolation of Israel”, a hope that parallels the hope of national deliverance for Israel. He had his heart set on the messianic hope, which alone could bring consolation in the troubled land of Israel. He was open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to impart special insight to him at the right moment. Eventually, Simeon was not disappointed as God truly rewarded his wait through His special guidance and placing him at the right place in the right time!
Waiting upon God is never a waste of time even though some people equate ‘wait’ with ‘waste’. Waiting serves several purposes, and in particular, it proves our faith. Those with great faith like Simeon are willing to wait indefinitely until they see they see the answers that they were longing for. Simeon achieved his life-long dream of being able to witness the Messiah directly. God will truly reward those who wait upon Him!