Waiting – a way to Praise
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” PSALM 130: 5-7
“but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” ISAIAH 40:31
Our theme this week is WAIT. Waiting is another way to praise the Lord. The use of the word WAIT in the above Scriptures deserves some explanation as the English is limited and much can be lost in translation.
In Psalm 130: 5-7 there are three Hebrew words that can be translated “wait”. All together in these three verses words that mean “wait” occur six times.
That is quite amazing and definitely an emphasis.
- Verse 5a: “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits” The Hebrew word qâwâ is used twice, to wait or look eagerly for, to lie in wait for, to wait for, linger for, tarry for, to hope for.
- Verse 5b: ”In his word I hope/wait.” The Hebrew word here is yâḥal, to wait, tarry, wait for, hope for.
- Verse 6: “Watchmen wait” is šâmar – again used twice – to keep watch, watch for, wait for, keep, guard
- Verse 7a: Let Israel “hope/wait” in the Lord. – again yâḥal, to wait, await, tarry, to wait for, hope for
In Isaiah 40:31 the same verb “wait” (qâwâ – Qal Participle) that is used at the beginning of Psalm 130 is used here but with a slightly different meaning. It is better translated as those that are waiting upon the Lord.
Most versions translate verse 7a and 5b as hope, but “wait” is the most common meaning.
Waiting involves an attitude and a posture. The attitude can be of expectation or of hope. The posture reflects an attitude of trust for we stop our busyness to wait and be. Psalm 130:5 shows that the attitude and posture of waiting involves one’s whole being eagerly longing – expectantly and hopefully. It involves tarrying and trust. The well-known waiting in Isaiah 40:31 points to a continual waiting upon the Lord. What a place of trust and hope that is!
In this season of a global pandemic many believe the church is being urgently called to wait upon the Lord. Joining believers world-wide we are to wait expectantly, with our whole being, trusting in the One who is our hope. We are to be those who are responding to the call to wait upon the Lord (Isa 40:31). Jesus said, ‘Could you not watch one hour with me?’ (Matthew 26:40b) We can choose to wait as an act of worship.
SONG Wait for the Lord (TAIZE)
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise you that you hear us when we cry out of the depths to you. Lord, we thank you that you are totally trustworthy and that you are all-knowing. You know when we rise and when we sit down. You know the beginning and the end of all things – including the troublesome things happening in our world these days.
In quietness and in trust we choose to praise you over these next days and weeks by waiting upon you. For you are Lord. You are the Almighty One. We gratefully come through Jesus’ precious blood to sit at your feet in the Most Holy Place (Heb 10:19). We choose in this place to have our whole being wait upon you. We choose to do this expectantly and hopefully.
PAUSE AND WAIT
We thank you Lord that through the gift of your Son becoming the Way we can wait in your presence. We praise you that you are not distant but that you are Emmanuel. We praise you that when you call your people to wait it is for your divine purposes. Please help us, as in Isaiah 40:31, to be those who are waiting upon you – similarly to the way Jesus walked with you Father. We thank you that when we are waiting on you we do mount up on wings like eagles, we are strengthened and enabled not only to keep going but to do so joyfully.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
SONG Everlasting God
You are invited to spend time just waiting on the Lord each day until Pentecost Sunday (May 31) – perhaps for an hour or half an hour a day.
Jesus’ command to the disciples in Acts 1 to wait in Jerusalem means: to wait for someone, to expect. May we always wait on God with holy expectation. May we make it a lifestyle.
Praise Resources from The International Anglican Order of The Cross (TIAOC) April 2020