Patience is essential

Selection criteria, 1. Is patient.

I was reading the story of David to my daughter this morning and it stuck me how long he had to wait for God's promise to come true of this ascent to glory. After his anointing by Samuel as a shepherd boy, after his amazing defeat of Goliath before all Israel, and then after years of long suffering that he endured as a fugitive under king Saul, he was still waiting.

After Saul's death his own house Judah crowned him their king, but the northern tribes in Israel all rejected him. He was still at war, both against his neighbours at home and his neighbours beyond (the Philistines).

When finally God did bring all Israel under his rule, and he hoped to now give the Ark of the Covenant (God's throne) a permanent place in his kingdom (the Temple), God said "no, you need to die for that".

David's hands had shed too much blood, and his son Solomon would be the one to build the temple. David must be content to do the preparations for the building project, and then die in waiting. Only in his death would all of God's promises to him come true.

I'm reminded here of the principle role that patience plays in the Christian life. We also do not yet have most of what we have been promised. And one distinguishing sign of genuine faith is that we wait all our lives, patiently persevering, thankfully suffering, prayerfully enduring, until at last we go -- in our death -- to the glory for which we have been waiting...

Unless of course Christ cuts our time short, breaking in for those who have:

"... turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to *wait* for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-- Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

What a great crash-test that would be!

No comments: