Waiting (Part 1)
First posted: June 10, 2007
This is the first of two articles that explore what the Lord means when He speaks of "waiting" on Him.
In recent weeks and months, the Lord has had me meditating on the epistles to the Thessalonians. To be honest with you, these epistles have always been a mystery to me. Whenever I attempted to discern the message behind these epistles, I would read through the verses, understanding the words but feeling as if I had understood nothing at all. Lately, however, the Lord has been pressing me into reading and reading these epistles over and over again. Slowly, passages that were once like dark tunnels are beginning to make sense, as if beams of light had begun to shine into these tunnels, exposing things that have been in the dark for ages.
There are many things which we wish we could share with you regarding Thessalonians, but it seems as if the enemy has placed so many hindrances in the way that we must deal with these hindrances first before we can move forward. This is what I have felt with regard to the teachings on this website for some time now, and this is what I feel with regard to the Church in general. At this point, however, the Lord has made it very clear to us that we must share what He has spoken to our hearts regarding verse 10 of the following passage:
"9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
I had already read through verse 10 time and time again. Recently, however, the Lord made my eyes fall on this verse, and, out of nowhere, the Lord asked me, "What do you think I mean by 'waiting'? What do you think I mean by 'waiting for My Son?". I was surprised by the question, and I found myself unable to answer it. I then understood that my task for that day was to find the answer. This brief article is part of the answer that the Lord spoke into my heart.
One of the mistakes many "Bible scholars" make is that they take God's vocabulary and interpret it in their own human terms. There is an important thing to consider, however, when it comes to understanding vocabulary. If an American says the word "bonnet", for example, she will most likely be referring to a hat of cloth worn by women and children that is held by ribbons tied under the chin. If the word is said by a Briton, however, he will most likely be referring to what an American would call a "car hood". This illustrates a principle: in order to understand the meaning of a spoken word, it is essential to consider the word's speaker. This involves considering how the speaker has used the word on other occasions.
Therefore, as I wondered what the Lord meant by "waiting on Him", it suddenly dawned on me to ask, "How has the Lord used that phrase in other passages of Scripture?". This took me to my Bible's small concordance. The first verse listed there under the word "wait" was verse 18 of the following passage:
"16Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. 18I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD." (Genesis 49:16-18)
[The word "LORD" at the end of verse 18 was translated from the Hebrew word "Jehovah". Therefore, verse 18 literally says, "I have waited for your salvation, oh Jehovah"]
As we have studied before, this passage speaks of the rise of a tribe of lowly "serpent" believers who shall judge the Church into salvation. The name "Jesus" literally means "Jehovah is salvation". Therefore, to "wait for Jehovah's salvation" (v18) is equivalent to waiting for Jesus. This means that "waiting for Jesus from heaven" (1 Thessalonians 1:10) is intimately tied to the execution of judgements by the spiritual tribe of "Dan". Thus, when God speaks of "waiting", He is not referring to a cross-armed, passive waiting. Instead, it is an anxious waiting during which we as a people shall be releasing God's judgements into the Earth. It is a waiting loaded with "longing", as revealed by the phrase "I have waited for thy salvation" in Genesis 49:18 above. As this longing consumes us, destructive judgement will be unleashed around us, just as Jesus' longing zeal led to the destruction of "business as usual" at the temple (John 2:13-17). This destruction shall pave the way for that which we long for, the "apocalypse" (i.e.- revelation) of Jesus Christ on Earth.
The next verse listed in my Bible's small concordance under the word "wait" was verse 7 of the following passage:
"1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." (Psalm 37:1-7)
The word "patiently" in the phrase "wait patiently" of verse 7 was added by the King James translators and does not appear in the original Hebrew text. In fact, the phrase "wait patiently" was translated from the single word chuwl, which literally means "to twist, whirl, dance, be in anguish, be pained", and can also be used to mean "to wait anxiously". In other words, the original Hebrew text in no way promotes a "passive, patient waiting"; instead, it promotes an anguished waiting, a fidgety, "dancity" waiting imbued with pain and anxiety. This gross mistranslation reveals how different natural man's understanding of the word "waiting" is from God's understanding of the same word.
The word "rest" at the beginning of verse 7 was translated from the Hebrew verb damam, which literally means "to be silent, to die". Therefore, it speaks of a silent death before the world, an attitude in which your soul takes refuge in God, and you make a commitment not to use visible, human means to effect change in your circumstances. This is the reason why verse 6 speaks of "our (invisible) judgement being brought forth as the noonday". Thus, our silent "resting" is not passive. Instead, it is an external silence filled with spiritual violence against the structures hindering God's manifestation on Earth. It is a silence that results from being killed by the world for "speaking too much", for destroying "too much" with the fire from our mouths. It is not the pious, "nun-like" silence the world conjures up in its matriarchal, froggy mind.
"5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them." (Revelation 11:5-7)
The key to understanding Psalm 37, therefore, lies in verse 3, where the Spirit says, "Trust in Jehovah, and do good". In other words, the Spirit's exhortation in Psalm 37 is not to be "sedatedly" passive, but rather to "not adopt to the world's unrighteous ways". After much resistance in righteousness, a sense of weary frustration will begin to envelop you. You will feel as if all your effort is for naught, and you will be tempted to adopt the world's easier and more "successful" ways. You will be tempted to start "merging" with the world's stream. You will want to stop doing the right thing, because it will all seem to no avail. Yet God says, "Your work is hidden in Me; the judgements you have declared are with Me; your work has not been wasted away".
"4Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. 5And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. 6And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 7Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee." (Isaiah 49:4-7)
As you read through Psalm 37, it becomes evident that it is a word from the Lord saying,
"Hold on to righteousness. I will soon vindicate you before those who have fought against you. I am about to unleash the judgements that you have pronounced, the judgements that have been safely stored within Me. Rejoice, for I shall soon devastate your enemies. I shall destroy them. I shall obliterate them, and they shall be no more. They tried to annihilate you, but, in doing so, they sowed their own annihilation. They silenced you for a season. I shall silence them forever."
Based on the above, we can conclude that, when God says "waiting", it implies an anxious anticipation of vindicating revenge. It implies being "killed into silence" for having spoken too much, and it implies not "merging" with the world as we wait for God's response to arrive.
The next verse listed in my Bible's small concordance under the word "wait" was verse 31 of the following passage:
"29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31But 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." (Isaiah 40:29-31)
The word "renew" in verse 31 was mistranslated from the Hebrew word chalaph, which literally means "change". This word appears 28 times in the "Old Testament", with Isaiah 40:31 being the 26th appearance. The 4th time it appears is in the following verse, translated as "changed":
The word "raiment" was translated from the Hebrew word simlah, which literally means "wrapper" and is derived from the word cemel meaning "image, idol", which in turn is derived from a word meaning "to resemble"; therefore, the word simlah has the connotation of a cloth that tightly wraps around a person, thus taking on the shape of the person being covered. Therefore, the verse above speaks of the removal of the "blue prayer shawl" that God's green-horse remnant are wrapped in and sent to die in. This mantle of death shall be replaced by a mantle of public exaltation, as was the case when Joseph "changed his raiment" to exit prison and stand before Pharaoh.
"39And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." (John 19:39-40)
"3Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in." (John 20:3-5)
"7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:7-11)
[The word "likeness" in verse 7 was translated from the Greek word homoioma, which speaks of "taking on a shape". Therefore, it is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word for "resemble" mentioned above. In a spiritual sense, the Lord's physical body was a "mantle of death" in which He was wrapped.]
From all of the above, we can say that the "renewing of strength" of Isaiah 40:31 involves a "changing of the garment", from a garment of weak, green-horse death to a garment of strong exaltation. In another sense, it also speaks of a change in "surrounding circumstances" for God's tired remnant.
Isaiah 40:29-31 is a passage that is generally taken out of context to give "cheerleader-type" encouragement to people in difficult circumstances. Yet, when studied within its context, Isaiah 40:29-31 is more than a "feel-good" passage, and it hides a message that is anything but "feel-good" for matriarchal believers, as shown by the verses that immediately follow it:
"1Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment. 2Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. 3He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. 4Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he." (Isaiah 41:1-4)
Verse 1 above tells the soul to "shut up" before the Spirit, and it speaks of coming together for judgement. Verse 2 then speaks of the righteous man from the "east". Since the sun rises in the east, this points to those who resurrect from green-horse death, as the sun that rises in the morning after having fallen during a long dark night. This is why verse 2 says that God calls the righteous one to his foot, which speaks of the rise of someone who had previously fallen to the earth.
Once the righteous one rises, the nations are given before him (v2), not for him to "pet" them and make them feel all "nice and happy", but, rather, to expose them to his (apostolic) sword and his (prophetic) bow, so that they may be as grey powder to his sword and as tossed-about chaff to his bow. The righteous one will pursue them (v3), as a conqueror pursuing defeated enemies who flee from before him. Thus, the "renewing of strength" of Isaiah 40:31 is not so that the traditional churchgoer may continue with his happy little "evangelical" life. Instead, it is deeply related to the unleashing of destruction against the enemies of the righteous. This is why Isaiah 41 goes on to say the following:
"10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel." (Isaiah 41:10-16)
Notice how God speaks in verse 10 of "strengthening" the righteous, meaning that this is all indeed a continuation of what the Spirit says in Isaiah 40:29-31. You cannot truly understand what God says at the very end of Isaiah 40 (i.e.- Isaiah 40:29-31) without reading on into Isaiah 41, which ends with the following words of judgement against the unrighteous:
"24Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. 25I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay. 26Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. 27The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. 28For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. 29Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion." (Isaiah 41:24-29)
Notice how the Lord has prompted us to consider Genesis 41:14 as well as Isaiah 41 as a result of considering Isaiah 40:29-31. This is no spiritual coincidence. As we have shared before, the number "1441" speaks of "halfway" efforts to do God's perfect will and please matriarchal man at the same time, and it speaks of the battle between the aggrandised Amorites ("41") and the "unmanifested" remnant ("14"). Whereas the number "1441" points to the beginning of this battle, the number "4114" points to its concluding phase, when the remnant finally emerge from the shadows and are aggrandised into a strong giant that crushes God's Amorite enemies. It is at this point that the tables are turned for good, and the weak and oppressed turn into the strong and "thresher", whilst the once strong oppressor is reduced to worthless dust. It is at this point when the number "41" goes from representing "Amorite-giant fornication" to representing "the rise of the giants of God". These latter-day giants shall be different from the giants of old in two ways: First, they will be giants on account of the Spirit, not the soul, and, second, they will be giants who enable the rise of their neighbours as giants, instead of suppressing them, like the giants of old.
Isaiah 40:31 declares that those who wait upon Jehovah shall have their strength changed. The old garment of weakness unto death shall be changed for a garment of irresistible and overwhelming strength, a garment that will never pass away. The old garment will have turned to ashes in the fires of green-horse Sheol, and a garment of splendorous beauty shall have taken its place:
"1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3)
[Interestingly enough, the word "beauty" in verse 3 was translated from the Hebrew word pe'er meaning "bonnet, head-dress, turban". I knew that the word "bonnet" which the Lord "casually" prompted us to mention at the beginning of this article would surface somewhere!!! Glory be unto God! The word pe'er comes from the word pa'ar meaning "to glorify, beautify"; thus, it speaks of having one's head crowned with beautiful glory.]
Fellow believer, I can share from my personal experience that God's promise of Isaiah 40:29-31 will manifest itself in two different ways. For one, there will be times when you will feel totally devastated, tired and beaten down, unable to get up and continue your journey. After having stood in God's righteousness and after having paid the spiritual price for your righteous "stubbornness", you will begin to ask "Why, God, why?" (Mark 15:34), and you will say, "I wish I had never been born" (Jeremiah 20:14-18). You will feel as if your life is totally useless and irrelevant; you will feel as if there is no place for you in this world (because there isn't ... Hebrews 11:38), and you will lift up your eyes towards God and ask,
"Why haven't you vindicated me before my enemies, Lord? Why do they continue to surround me like hyenas, mockingly declaring that they are here to stay and that God will not judge them? Why, God, if I am so right and they are so wrong, haven't you unleashed your judgements against those who arrogantly raise their fists at you and defy Your righteousness? They mock me for standing in You, and they rejoice in my loneliness and failure. I am rejected by them, and I feel rejected by You, because You do not seem to vindicate me before them. Why has my life ended in this hole? Please, Lord, take me away, for I can't take this anymore!!"
In the midst of this despair, as your soul vents its tears of frustration, as you feel yourself melting in the pool of tears surrounding you, something will happen; a glimmer of hope will be sent your way by the Lord. God will send you consolers who will reveal the beauty that is beginning to envelop you. You will realise that the "beauty for ashes" promise is coming to pass, and your soul will suddenly be reenergised. Your troubles will not be over, but you will know that God's redemption is well on its way, and you will continue waiting on His salvation.
The second way in which Isaiah 40:29-31 will manifest itself in your life is when God's wrath is poured upon those who have stood against you. Their crumbling will be your solidifying. Their demise shall be your rise. Their fall into death shall be as a breath of life blown into you. This is how God "renews the strength" of those who wait upon Him.
"6Set thou a wicked man over him: and let satan stand at his right hand. 7When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 8Let his days be few; and let another take his office. 9Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 10Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. 11Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. 12Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. 13Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 16Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. 17As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. 19Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul." (Psalm 109:6-20)
[For those with SSMS who believe that this passage does not apply in our "New Testament" days of "love and grace", it must be noted that verse 8 is quoted in Acts 1:20 (along with an equally "vitriolic" verse from Psalm 69:25) by the apostles ... yes, the same "New Testament" apostles who saw nothing wrong in slaying Ananias and Sapphira with a word of deadly judgement for what would seem to most matriarchal pastors like "an innocent little fib".
Matriarchal believers may be quick to jump on the phrases "he loved cursing" (v17) and "he clothed himself with cursing" (v18) to insinuate that this passage is an indictment against "vitriolic sentiments of revenge and destruction". Yet, such a conclusion would require ignoring the tone of the entire passage. If this is a passage that condemns "cursing", why is the psalmist wishing that the wicked man's children be left "fatherless" and that his wife be left a "widow"? Why would the psalmist ask God that the wicked man's children be "continually vagabonds and beg" (v11) and that his posterity be cut off so that his name be blotted out forever (v13)? Therefore, when the Spirit says, "he loved cursing", He is saying that the wicked man chose to stick with that which brought his eventual destruction. He was offered the opportunity to take that which would eventually bless him forever, but he chose that which would bless him for a moment, thus sealing his own eternal doom. When "he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment", he was consciously adopting attitudes that gave him "regal robes" for a season, but, which were cursing him unto eternal oblivion. When he "persecuted the poor and needy man" (v16), he was belittling their potential, cursing them as "worthless and "irrelevant little people", without realising that, by doing so, he was cursing himself.]
There is more to say regarding "waiting on the Lord", but it must wait for a future posting...