Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27 was written by David, likely at a time of danger as implied by verse 12 – Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence [Psalm 27:12]. Perhaps the background of this psalm is this – David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God [1 Samuel 30:6]. Perhaps it’s somewhere else – David had many dangerous circumstances in his life. The essence of faith is at times best shown through patience. When there is nothing else you can do, when you know that the situation is out of your control, when you know that anything – good or bad – can happen next – it’s when you can only put your trust in the Lord, draw your strength from the Lord, find your comfort in the Lord – if you’re able to do these, you will be able to wait for the Lord. If you are able to be patient and wait and see what God does for you, you will be able to sustain your hope and trust, continue to be strong, and stay comforted.
Wait for the Lord – some versions render this wait on the Lord – which I prefer linguistically, but it pretty much connotes the same idea of patience. Unfortunately, patience is a virtue that most people do not have – but are forced to acquire in times of desperation. Even if you are, by nature, not the most patient person, at times, there are situations in which you really can do absolutely nothing except to wait. 1/3 of our life is (supposed to be) spent on sleep. In the remaining 2/3 of our life, the average human spends about 1/6 of it waiting. That’s about 5 years out of an average lifetime of 70. We wait for the traffic lights. We wait for the trains. We wait for our lovers to show up for dates. We wait for our spouses’ plane to touch down. We wait when we queue to watch a blockbuster. We wait to be served in restaurant; we wait for the chef to cook our food. We wait to see a doctor, we wait to watch a game, we wait in the line for the toilet to be available, we wait, wait and wait. Like it or not, we have no excuses not to be patient. Like it or not, society has already nurtured us to all be very good at waiting.
In terms of waiting, it’s all about the amount of time spent. Logically speaking, anybody would get impatient if he or she were to be made to wait 2 hours for a burger at a fastfood chain. Even the most patient person may run out of time, and thus, run out of patience. We live on a clock that chimes 24 times a day, and the earth rotates around 365 times a year, in which it makes a full round in the solar system. That’s our concept of time. That’s our system. But God runs on a different concept of time called eternity. Moses tries to put God’s concept of time into our perspective – For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night [Psalm 90:4|Article].
Let’s do the math:
If 1000 Years = 1 Day;
1 Year = 1 min 26 s 24ms
70 Years = 1 hour 40 minutes and 48 seconds
That’s just an analogy Moses used to extol the eternality of God, but even so, it’s hard to imagine this time scale. Even when it seems like you are running out of time, God isn’t. He still has time. He never runs out of time. Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it [Psalm 37:34].
be strong and take heart – when deliverance never seems coming, or when you seem lost and helpless, be strong. Be strong, because God is there. God will do something, eventually. Be comforted and take heart, because God is there. Wait. Even if the suspense of the future is agonizing, wait on the Lord. Wait for the Lord. You’re not waiting for nothing. You’re not waiting for no reason. You’re waiting for the Lord. You’re waiting for something to happen, something that will be for your eventual good. Take heart. Take heart means to be confident or courageous [dic]. I love saying this. It’s so apt. It’s not only about having courage in trying times, it’s also about the element of being comforted. It’s also about the element of hope [Psalm 31:24].
wait for the Lord – repetition, since thousands of years ago, has been an amazing literary device in writing or speaking, and here, repetition certainly has its value as David cries out at the end of the entire Psalm, wait for the Lord! If you would only wait for the Lord. Keep waiting for the Lord. Till the last breath. Don’t ever give up. Don’t do things you shouldn’t, things that you will regret [Proverbs 20:22]. Don’t ever wait aimlessly. Wait for the Lord. Place your hope and trust in Him. Wait for me, declares the Lord, for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them–all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger [Zep 3:8]. Be courageous and confident. Be comforted. Take heart. Because there’s still God.
Patience is a virtue that people, in this fast-paced society today, do not have enough of. Ultimately, it’s not like its our fault, is it? Even the most patient person will probably feel impatient when waiting for someone who’s clock runs on a different time scale. My 1000 years is your one day. So if it was only 5 minutes, it would have felt like an eternity to me. We’ll probably panic a little while waiting. We may pace around and sigh continuously while waiting. It’s fine. It’s fine. As long as we keep waiting, and know who we are waiting for. We’re not waiting around aimlessly and merely because we have no other choice – because there is nothing else we can do. We’re not waiting for nobody. We’re not waiting for Godot. We’re waiting for God. Godot, if you know the reference from Samuel Beckett’s play, will never come. He signifies the absence that most of humanity is waiting for aimlessly, something to provide a spark to rekindle our lives, something to save us, help us, aid us, change us. To Christians that something is God. But while Godot will never come, God will. God will come. God will do something. In his own way, in his own time scale, in ways you may never expect.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay [Habbakuk 2:3].
So take heart.