Psalm 62 Do you find it hard to wait? David was in a desperate situation. Jesus was nearing the end of his earthly life, and he told the disciples to stay alert and watch lest you fall into temptation. How often do we fail to stay alert and ‘wait?’ How often do we fall asleep like the disciples or try to manipulate circumstances as we see fit? The irony is that God knows our past, present, and future. He knows the very hair on your head, and He knows each heart, whether it is single-minded or double-minded. David was busy waiting, not knowing when his adversaries would arrive on the scene. Like David, Jesus was busy praying, but the disciples were asleep. Is this our pattern too?
In his waiting, David noted that his enemy was like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence, but God was His stronghold. Years earlier, Nehemiah also heard the taunts of the enemy: “Even what they are building-if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!” Neh 4:3 At desperate times, we need to take our concerns to God. David reminded himself: ‘wait in silence for God only.’
Therefore Beloved remain steadfast, immovable, always abounding, and focus on the God who never fails.
Isaiah 36-37 In the 30’s Al Capone ruled Chicago. He taunted those who did not want to pay him for protection and if they didn’t, he took note and sent his thugs to “take care of the problem.” Sennacherib was the Capone Hezekiah faced. His thugs were Rabshakeh and his contingent. They mocked God and repeated “Capone/Sennacherib’s” words: “what is your source of confidence….in whom are you trusting.” They surmised that Hezekiah would then be shaking in his boots and succumb to their threats. Hezekiah’s advisors Eliakim and Hilkiah indeed returned to Hezekiah with their clothes torn as a sign they were demoralized just as Rabshekah had hoped. But, instead of compromising and yielding to their demands, as he had done before, Hezekiah took the letter with its demands to the Lord in the Temple. Isaiah the prophet told him because this time he sought God’s help, He would bless him. God would put hooks in the jaws of this “Capone” and send him packing back to his home country but not before God would provide evidence that He alone was God.
God gave Hezekiah three principles that teach us truths about how to live in a “Capone” world. Vs 31: remain steadfast—Paul said much the same in 1Cor 15: 58. Secondly, take root where you are; Col 2:7 firm in your faith and thirdly bear fruit; Matt 3:8 that proves your repentance.
Many times when I was a teacher I would have to step out of the classroom for period of time for differing reasons. As a parent this was often true as well. In stepping out they often leave with these words “I am leaving you in charge.” How does that statement sit with you? Do we really understand the implications of those words? Do we realize the consequences if we do not live up to those words? As we open ITimothy we find that Paul essentially has left Timothy in charge and he does so because Timothy has proven to be trustworthy, he is reliable, he is loyal to the core. He is thus a “true child in the faith.” It is because of this Paul has written this letter to encourage Timothy to “hang tough” for the wolves that he predicted are already at work in Ephesus seeking to destroy the foundational principles of the faith. Paul notes that his predictions are coming to light. Timothy has been given a huge task and he must remain strong and be steadfast.
Beloved, Christ has put us in charge of passing the baton on; we have been given the huge task to remain strong, steadfast as the winds of culture seek to drive us from true doctrine. There are wolves amongst us and we must be discerning and wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Isaiah’s warning long ago to King Ahab is as applicable to us as well: “If your faith does not remain firm, then you will not remain secure.” Beloved, Paul’s charge is before us: “dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”