Down through time, God has called His servants for a particular job, and then in many cases He has expected those servants to wait patiently for Him to act.

I speak here of people like the prophets, or men of God down through the ages.

Let's look at Abraham.  He knew that he was going to have a child.  God promised him that.  But how long would he have to wait for the fulfilment of the promise?

When Abraham was 75 years old God told him that his descendants would have the land.

Gen 12:4  So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Gen 12:7  Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

When Abraham had no child from Sarah, she said to Abraham to take Hagar and perhaps he would have a child through her.

Gen 16:2  So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

Gen 16:16
  Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Abraham and Sarah had waited 10 years since God had told Abraham his descendants would have the land.  These must have been very long and hard years, as Abraham and Sarah were getting older, and still no sign of Sarah becoming pregnant.
When Abraham was 99 the Lord appeared to him and Sarah and told them they would have a son, this seemed impossible to Abraham and Sarah, and Abraham laughed, and so did Sarah.

Gen 17:17  Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"

Gen 18:12  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

God said is anything too hard for the Lord.

Gen 18:14  Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

Notice in the above scripture, the words at the appointed time, this is very interesting and we need to note, that God has a time appointed when He will do certain things, in this case it was when He decided to act on behalf of Sarah and allow her to become pregnant.
He could have acted 25 years earlier, but He wanted to see how Sarah and Abraham acted and if they would wait patiently on the Lord.

Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old.

Gen 21:5  Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

It had been 25 years since God had first spoken to Abraham, about having a child.
This may seem as nothing to us, but put yourself in their shoes, both were way beyond the years of child bearing, Abraham was 75 years old and Sarah 65 years old, at the time God first spoke to him. If you know anyone of this age, how hopeless it would seem for them to have a child.  This is what both Abraham and Sarah had to endure, we need to try to put ourselves in their position and see how hard it must have been for them.  God was testing them. He wanted to see if they would wait on God.   Sometimes this is an extremely hard test.  In this case it was very very difficult.
God wants us to exercise faith in Him, and not to use our own human reasoning, we must just accept that God will do as He has promised and wait, no matter how long that takes.

Now let's look at David.

God told Samuel that one of the sons of Jesse will be king.

1Sa 16:1
  Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons."

Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.

1Sa 16:5  And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

However, Samuel was looking at the lad's outward appearance and not on their hearts.

1Sa 16:7  But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

David was not even invited to the sacrifice, he had to tend the sheep.

1Sa 16:11  And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here?" Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here."

When David was anointed king he must have been a very young man, possibly about 17 years old.

1Sa 16:12  So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!"

This scripture is after David was anointed king, and he was a youth.

1Sa 17:33  And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."

Notice the attitude that David had, he knew he was going to be king one day, and yet he remained humble, even when he was going to marry the King's daughter.

1Sa 18:18  So David said to Saul, "Who am I, and what is my life or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?"

Saul had a very bad attitude towards David as the following scripture shows, and it must have been very difficult for David to live with his attitude.

1Sa 18:29  and Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul became David's enemy continually.

David spent a great deal of time on the run from Saul.

1Sa 21:10  Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

David had no desire to harm Saul, even though Saul wanted to kill David, he respected the office.

1Sa 26:9  But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him; for who
can stretch out his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless?"

2Sa 1:14  So David said to him, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?"

David patiently waited for his time to come when he would be king, he knew this would happen one day, he had faith, and trusted God to bring it about when God decided it was the appointed time for him to become king. 
David had to wait more than 10 years after he was anointed king before he began to reign.
David did not try to take these things into his own hands and make them happen when he wanted them to.

2Sa 5:4
  David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

No wonder God loved David, and said this wonderful legacy about him.

Act 13:22  And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I HAVE FOUND DAVID THE SON OF JESSE, A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART, WHO WILL DO ALL MY WILL.'


This next account about Moses covers a time which is little known by most, and may be new knowledge to most readers of the bible.

At this time Moses was living in Egypt. He was 40 years old at the time.

Act 7:23  "Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.
Act 7:24  And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.

Now notice the following verse, this is very interesting, why would Moses have thought that the Israelites should have understood that God was going to use him, to deliver them from Egypt? 
The reason for this is that God had already spoken to Moses about this, and told him, that He was going to bring the Israelites out of captivity.

Act 7:25  For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.

The next verse shows that God had indeed spoken to Moses beforehand. Moses said that he was not good at speaking, neither now nor since God had first spoken to him.

Exo 4:10  Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."

So now we come to the question how long was it from the time God initially spoke to Moses about the deliverance of the children of Israel and the time that God actually delivered them?  How long was it that Moses had to live humbly with this knowledge that God was going to use him to deliver the nation of Israel?
Moses had to learn patience, remain humble, develop faith that God would keep His word to him regarding the Israelites, he had to make sure he did not use human reasoning and try to make it all happen when he wanted to instead of waiting for God to act, at the appointed time.

The following scripture shows that Moses had to wait 40 years from the time that God first spoke to him about the Israelites.

Act 7:30  "And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.

It would appear that Moses did wait patiently on the Lord.


Now let's look at Jesus.  He was very smart and learned in God's word at the tender age of 12.

Luk 2:42  And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.

Luk 2:47  And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

However, we do not read much about the life of Jesus until it was time for Him to start His ministry.
Notice the following scripture which shows that He had an appointed time to start His work.

Joh 2:4  Jesus said to her,
"Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

So we see that Christ Himself had to wait until the time appointed for His ministry to start.

Another example of Christ waiting for the appointed time.

Joh 7:8 
You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."

We need to be patient and wait for God, He is in charge.  He will decide when things will happen…..not us.

What happens if we don’t wait on the Lord

Saul took matters into his own hands and did what he thought was right instead of waiting on God.

Saul had been told to kill everything and he said that he had done this.

1Sa 15:13  Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD."

Samuel heard the animals and asked what about these?

1Sa 15:14  But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"

Saul said that the animals were for an offering.

1Sa 15:15  And Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed."

When Saul was humble he was anointed King, then that attitude changed.

1Sa 15:16
  Then Samuel said to Saul, "Be quiet! And I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night." And he said to him, "Speak on."
1Sa 15:17  So Samuel said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?

Saul's instructions were clear, why did he disobey and seize the spoil?

1Sa 15:18  Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.'
1Sa 15:19  Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?"

Saul replied that he brought back Agag and the people took the spoil.

1Sa 15:20  And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1Sa 15:21  But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal."

Samuel showed Saul that to obey and listen, were to be desired over sacrifice.

1Sa 15:22  So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

Saul paid a huge penalty, he was rejected as being king.  Look what God said about his rebellion.

1Sa 15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king."

To wait on the Lord is very important, we must not take matters into our own hands, we must be patient and obey and listen to all the instructions of the Lord, our hearts and motives must be pure in this regard.  The penalties are severe as shown above.

We see that all of God's chosen servants have had to wait and be patient, they have been tested to see if they will wait for God to act, or just take things into their own hands.  We must wait on God, He knows best.

It is a good test for us to wait, to develop faith and patience and to trust in God, He will act at the appointed time.

Email.. Jim and Peta McGinn