Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 052415
The Prophecy of Daniel 9.
Job glorified God by waiting on Him even though God was silent toward him.
This past week we have been noting how Job glorified God by waiting on Him even though God was silent toward Job. We also noted that there are times that God will keep things secret from us so that we will search for Him with all of our Heart and soul. There are even times that the Lord will bring affliction upon us to cause us to seek for Him.
As the prophet Hosea wrote in HOS 5:15, the Lord said, “I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
Therefore, the divine purpose is stated when He says that our attitude will be what HOS 6:1 says, we will say, “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
And so the principle is that many times waiting upon the Lord and experiencing the silence of God is a blessing in disguise. If your experience has been anything like mine, we both know that the silence of God and learning how to wait upon the Lord, is designed for our own benefit and blessing. In fact, it is designed for us to learn how to depend upon our Lord.
MAT 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy‑laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
1PE 5:7, “Cast all your worries or anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”
PSA 55:22, Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
That’s what happens when you wait, you experience a shift in the load, from your shoulders, to the shoulders that were designed to bear these things - or Lord’s. Look how Isaiah put it in ISA 53:4-5, Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well‑being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Some of those who have waited on the Lord in their spiritual life. The first one who stands out in my mind is Noah, who was told of God to build an ark and to keep the faith knowing that rain was coming, though there had never been such a thing as a rainstorm from the sky before, GEN 2:5. There was mist and water from the shy but like a rainstorm as we have them today. There also had never been such a large vessel like the Ark. Now, he waited 120 yrs, and then it came.
Next we noted Job who after experiencing the soars from his head all the way down to his feet, the boils, the loss of family, the loss of his friends, his wealth and his prosperity, he had to learn how to wait upon God when God was being silent.
And then there is Abraham, and if you check out the record he left his hometown of Ur at the age of 75. He died according to the scriptures at the age of 175 and still didn’t find the city that he left to find, whose builder and maker was God. 100 years of waiting for God, who was pleased simply to teach him through the discipline of time, to trust Him or for the servant to trust the master.
HEB 11:8-10, By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
He waited all those years constantly pulling up his tent and moving on, and he never found a place to pour a cement foundation.And yet look at HEB 11:13, All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. He never found that place, think of it. Just waited day by day for the sovereign God of Heaven to say here it is but it never happened in Abraham’s life...but it will! He just lived a life of waiting.
Then there is Joseph, whose life was marked by waiting for a decade and a half in prison, unfairly, and unjustly. Think of that, it’s bad enough to have to serve time, but to have to serve it unfairly and being forgotten is a difficult time. Potiphar’s wife lied upon him and said that he made sexual advances toward her, he was mistreated, released from slavery only to be put back into prison again, and then he had to wait for 13 years before he was relieved and finally promoted to the prime-minister of Egypt. And then there is Moses, who at the age of 40, was at the prime of manhood, he was the brightest star of Egypt, he was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He was certainly going to be an heir apparent and at that time he made a crucial blunder. He tried to do God’s will his way, he committed murder, and Moses ended up in the desert and there is stayed for 40 years.
Think of that! In the prime of manhood, greatly qualified, but he was completely useless, even though he was highly educated and had prestige, a great reputation and he was the military leader. And yet he ended up in the desert and was forgotten and he worked for his father-in-law. He raised sheep in that desert for 40 years, waiting on the timing of God.
HEB 11:24-27, By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill‑treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
He waited so long that when God got his attention through the burning bush, he was convinced that God has made His first mistake. He said, “I can’t go to deliver your people, I’m not qualified.” And finally God compromised and said take Aaron, and he pulled off the Exodus with Aaron. And Moses was the one who at that crucial moment, when they were surrounded by the enemy, by the desert, by the mountains, by the sea, , and the Egyptian army was coming closer, and closer, Moses said this.
EXO 14:13-14, But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Apparently he learned something about the silence of the spiritual life. There was nothing new, he had been doing it for 40 years. And therefore what more could I say as the writer of Hebrews magnificently says beginning in HEB 11:32-12:3, And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill‑treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
Then there is that silent period, called the enter Old Testament period of silence for 400 years where we don’t know a lot. We know nothing scripturally, nothing was written, for 400 years between those two great covenants, the OT and the NT. And then came the ministry of Jesus Christ whose life could epitomized or personified by wisdom and waiting. He just took one step at a time, and when the Father said take the next step He took the next step, and the Father said take that next step and He took it, and He learned obedience through the things that he suffered, HEB 5:8, Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
Then He nurtured 12 men, 11 of whom succeeded, and He told them when He left the earth you wait in the upper room and they waited, for ten days. And then the Spirit came, and anointed their lips, and they went into the streets and they began to teach the doctrines which multiplied, and they began to be a church that would be noted for waiting.
Waiting for Peter to be sprung from prison. Waiting for Paul to be nurtured and then sent to the mission field.
In fact, Paul also put the principle of waiting magnificently when he said such things like PHI 3:20, For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Waiting is the rule, rather than the exception. Isn’t that a beautiful reminder. The exception is an open door, when you have an open door go! Go like mad! They don’t happen very often. But in a period of waiting, when the door is closed, it doesn’t mean you are out of the will of God, it means you are right in the will of God, as a matter of fact you’re in the rule. The open door is the exception, there are bursts of green lights that happen just a few seconds in life, the rest is filled with red lights that flash, wait, wait, wait.
Waiting on God is resting, instead of worrying. You know you can fake waiting! Have you ever tried to fake it?
Well we all have. We can fret down inside and put that plastic front on that says were really at peace when we are not and we try to fool others but really only end up fooling ourselves. We are fallen apart deep down inside, panic stricken.
There is a passage in the word of God where a great man of God failed to rest in God. He ended up running away from the plan of God for his life. Added to that he began to feel sorry for himself, entering into self pity and thought that he was the only one doing the work of God right. His name was Elijah and he had a difficult time handling what appeared to him as the silence of God. Remember the story that we are told in the book of 1Ki 19, concerning all the threats being made by the wicked queen Jezebel against the man of God Elijah and against the people of God, the Jews.
1KI 19:1-2, Now Ahab [the Wicked-Wimpy Husband] told Jezebel all that Elijah had done [he had killed 50 ungodly prophets], and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”
So, after Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” - In other words “Get out of town in 24 hours.” What happened to Elijah when he received the letter?
1KI 19:3-5, And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and [then] came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.”
Elijah he was exhausted. Consequently, when he received the message, his perception was dulled. Had he thought outside of the situation, he would have realized that if Jezebel had truly intended to kill him:
she would have sent an assassin with a dagger instead of a servant with a message. Jezebel’s objective was simply to frighten Elijah into running out on the revival, which was threatening her pagan religion. Elijah’s life had become so important to him that he drove himself beyond normal endurance until he considered himself to be safe from his enemies. An entire day had passed before he stopped to reflect on his situation as verse 4 says.
The point is that instead of realizing that no one was pursuing him and that as long as he was alive, the Lord still had a purpose for him, this great spiritual giant became a carnal weakling moping under the juniper tree, totally discouraged. The point is that the inevitable outcome of focusing our eyes on things or people is that we eventually get our eyes on self. Elijah had completely ignored the principle of grace. No one ever implied that he was better than his fathers. Elijah had been used of the Lord because of grace, not because he was anyone special. You can always count on it, when you are out of fellowship, you will feel sorry for yourself and have the wrong perspective of life.
At the time of 1Ki 19, Elijah was now sinning against the Lord by running away. He had his eyes on himself and had fallen into the trap of self-pity; he believed he had failed in every possible way. Elijah felt sorry about his relationship with God. He felt guilty, and he didn’t understand about the silence of God! It is a soul kink to feel sorry for self, and it is one of the worst expressions of carnality. Sooner or later it happens to all members of the human race “sitting under the juniper tree” the tree of self-pity!
We can all understand and even sympathize in some way with Elijah because we have all been in a place where everything looked hopeless, everything had gone wrong, and we felt that no one loved us! However, in His time, God broke the silence. Elijah was out of fellowship. He had neither earned nor deserved the right to have food or any other blessing; but because of God’s perfect character, God, in His grace always provides.
1KI 19:4-7, But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
Even though we are totally unworthy. He is always there. It was the Lord Jesus who said, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (ISA 41:10).
1KI 19:8, So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
Apparently it contained all the vitamins and minerals that were necessary, because after this one meal, Elijah traveled forty days, all the way down to Mount Horeb in the Sinai Peninsula. God’s provision is always the best — in fact, it is perfect!
1KI 19:9, Then he came there to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
The key to understanding this passage is the Hebrew verb for lodged which is lun which means to move into some spot with the idea of spending the night and then staying a long time. Elijah had moved into the cave just to rest for one night; but even though it was dark, cold and clammy, he stayed for a long time. He was still feeling sorry for himself, so he remained in the cave and sulked. What a contrast! The great spiritual giant who had just killed 450 prophets of Baal, had allowed himself to be reduced to a heap of gloom and depression.
However, the Lord had broken the silence, to teach Elijah a lesson of spirituality. “Elijah, what are you doing here?” was a proper question. What was Elijah doing there? He was the spiritual leader of the revival of Northern Israel. God never meant for Elijah to be a cross-country runner; yet that was what he had been doing — running and sulking.
The key point in his answer is the personal pronoun, “I.”
1KI 19:10, And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
Because the Lord is omniscient, He knew billions of years ago that Elijah was “jealous,” or literally, “zealous for the Lord.” He also knew that the children of Israel had been out of line. Notice the emphasis: it is “I, I, I and my.” Poor, carnal Elijah, with his eyes on himself! Yet because the Lord is very gracious, He was not willing to put one of his well-trained servants on the shelf. And so in 1KI 19:11, the Lord teaches Elijah the principle of the silence of God or how to listen to the still small voice within the heart of man.
1KI 19:11-12, So He said, “Go forth, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.
Elijah did not learn his lesson, and he had to be set aside for several years until he woke up to the importance of the power of the Spirit-the control of the “still small voice.” Elijah had run away; he had sat under the juniper tree; he had been sulking in a cave. Elijah was in a carnal state; he was out of fellowship. He didn’t understand the silence of God until he experienced the silence of God. Therefore, in spite of his tremendous human abilities, he was powerless at the moment. To serve God, a believer must be in a position to utilize the power of the Spirit!