One of the blessings of being a rabbi is participating in weddings. Right now, at our synagogue, we have five different couples engaged to be married.
As I write this today, one of these couples has 13 days before their wedding, and a second has 41 days before their marriage. I know this because, for some time now, I receive an almost daily update of the countdown.
As I watch these young people bounce between eager anticipation and impatience, I am reminded that I used to think that the worst part of being a believer in the Bible was waiting.
Just think about all of the waiting that we read about in the Bible. Noah built the ark for 120 years, knowing that it was going to rain and flood the earth. G-D sent Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, but they had to wait through 10 plagues before they were delivered.
The children of Israel waited 40 years to enter the promised land. King David was anointed king 15 years before he assumed the throne. Daniel prophesied the coming Messiah 483 years before Yeshua was born.
I said above that I used to think that waiting was the worst part of being a believer. I was reminded about this last night as I counted the Omer. For those unfamiliar with counting the Omer, we are commanded to count 50 days between the day after the First Day of Unleavened Bread and Shavuot (Pentecost).
These days represent the time between the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, which, in Judaism, is viewed as the wedding between Israel and G-D. Just as these young couples are in-between their betrothal and marriage, Israel was living in the wilderness between the time of redemption from slavery and their entrance into covenant relationship with G-D.
If you think young couples get anxious as they have to wait until the big day, just think about 2.5 million people standing around a mountain waiting to hear from a G-D who just destroyed the most powerful nation of the day. It is interesting that many years ago,120 people were praying in an upper room as instructed by Yeshua, waiting for the promise. This group of people were waiting in Jerusalem for their promise during the exact same days that Israel waited around Mount Sinai for their promise.
However, there was a big difference between those waiting around the mountain and the 120 waiting in the upper room. This difference was approximately 1,500 years that passed between the two times. That 1,500 years was filled with examples of G-D doing exactly what He said He would do. G-D's people had countless experiences in which G-D fulfilled His promises.
One of those promises was the birth of Yeshua the Messiah, and His birth was promised or prophesied more than 300 different times in the Tanakh (Old Testament). Knowing the history of G-D's faithfulness made it abundantly easier for the 120 in the upper room to wait for their promise.
However, the truth is that it wasn't just the years of history that helped the disciples wait patiently on G-D. It was that the disciples had learned that they really were not waiting on G-D at all, but rather G-D was waiting on them. I know that statement may seem confusing, but it really isn't once believers come to terms with the fact that we are never waiting on G-D to do something; He is always waiting on us.
To help you understand the above statement, think about this verse of Scripture:
"All who dwell on the earth shall worship him—everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb who was slain" (Rev. 13:8, TLV).
Yeshua was slain from before the foundation of the world. So, when He was crucified in Jerusalem on that Passover Day, our world finally caught up to an event that took place before the world was even created.
This is why I said above we never wait on G-D. The truth is that when the Bible says, "In the beginning G-D created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1a), G-D created the entirety of all that will ever be. When He spoke the words that brought about creation, those words began and completed all creation for all time.
The Bible does not provide a history of people waiting on G-D's promises; it provides a history of G-D's people arriving at G-D's promises that already existed. In other words, the answer to your prayers is already ahead of you; G-D is just waiting for you to arrive at the place where your promises already exist.
The hardest thing about being a Bible believer is realizing that we really never wait for anything.
Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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