Dave spoke this morning from Hebrews 10:22-25, asking the question all of us face at some time: ‘Why isn’t God doing what He has promised?‘ Over the years God has promised much to us as individuals, as a church and as part of the Dearne Valley, promises that the work here will prosper and flourish beyond our expectations, that we will plant other churches, that we will outgrow our current building. But as yet we have not seen the fulfilment of these promises and we can wonder if we are to blame and when exactly God will work.
Waiting for God to fulfil His promises is not unique to us. So often in the Bible we see instances where God seems to delay. Abraham had to wait 25 years for the son of promise to be born. Jacob and Moses both waited 40 years for the fulfilment of God’s promises to them. As we are seeing in our Bible studies, David had to wait many years between his anointing to be king and actually becoming king. The prophets did not se the coming of the promised Messiah; Simeon and Anna were both very old when they saw Jesus.
How do we respond to the period of waiting between God’s promises and their fulfilment? Abraham got impatient and tried to help God out by sleeping with his wife’s slave. Jacob’s devious nature had many plans to make life work for him; Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness. We can tried to do things our way; we can often lack faith in God’s promises, but the truth is that He is always faithful.
David waited for God to deal with Saul, refusing to harm him. We too must pray and thank God, reminding Him of His promises. We see Moses, Abraham and David all pouring our their hearts before God. The starting place is confession of sin (our own and the sins of the people around us), coming to God in repentance, reverence and awe. Prayer involves listening to God as well. Sin will always stop God’s people seeing His promises fulfilled (as Joshua discovered at Ai), but as we plead with God to no longer delay (see Daniel 9:17-19), we can be sure that God’s faithfulness will ultimately prevail.