It’s day two of our series on the men and women who were at the first Christmas. We’re taking twelve days to look at the men and women who were at the first Christmas and get to know them as people. We want to shift our understanding from fictional fable, to human reality. We’d love to hear how this series is impacting you! Feel free to comment below.
If you need to catch up, here’s our past devotionals:
Today we’re hearing from Spencer Arnold, world renowned weightlifting coach, and Founder of Power and Grace Performance.
“It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.'” -Isaiah 25:9
So much of the Christmas story began long before Jesus showed up as a baby in a manger. In Genesis 3 God promises that the newer, better Adam will come and crush the head of the serpent. He promises a Messiah. A Redeemer.
Throughout all of Old Testament Scripture every patriarch, every failed attempt at redemption, every Old Testament Prophet pointed to a day of redemption. Samuel 7:16 pushes the Hebrew nation to remember and long for a day when their kingdom would be made sure forever. They were pressed to look and wait for a King coming from the line of David, who would rule rightly over the world.
Every Old Testament prophet from Isaiah to Micah to Malachi to Ezekiel to Jeremiah pushed the Jewish nation’s hearts to wait and wish for the day when their Messiah would come. Waiting was common practice for the Jews. God’s chosen people had been waiting for centuries.
How can we see their patience and their practice of waiting today as something to be honored? Sure, their idolization and desire for a magnanimous, conquering King kept most of them from seeing the humble Christ figure as their long-awaited Messiah. However, their waiting and their patience and their longing and their steadfastness serves as a model to a culture today that wants everything now. With no delay.
So much of the Bible is wrought with the “gift” of waiting. Noah waited for it to rain. David waited to be king. Isaiah and Jeremiah waited for the people to listen to them. Yet, we have a hard time waiting for a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich when it’s 30 seconds later than we hoped it would be. If there’s one thing we can take away from this Advent season, this season of waiting on Christmas day, is that waiting isn’t a repercussion or punishment.
Biblically, waiting is God’s gift. What makes Christmas such a joy-filled season is we wait on it all year. What made the Messiah such a joyous figure to be praised at his triumphal entry, the Jews had been waiting on him for centuries.
Can you identify and feel their impatience and maybe disbelief? What are you waiting on today? New circumstances? A new job? An answer to prayer?
Whatever it is, just because God seems to be silent doesn’t mean He’s absent. The Jews waited and found their answer in a baby in a manger. As we long and wait today for Christmas Day and for a return of that very same Savior, I pray you tap into the gift of waiting and trust in a God who never breaks his promises and proved it Christmas day.
More Devotions from our Christmas series, The Men and Women at the First Christmas:
Day 1- The Prophets: The Conviction, Cost, and Triumph of Truth
Day 2- The Jewish Nation: The Gift of Waiting
Day 3- Mary: Perfect Isn’t Required
Day 4- Jospeh: The Forgotten Father
Day 5- Elizabeth: Joy in the Waiting
If you’re wanting more, Spencer shares why he resonates with the feeling of the Jews.