Advent Day of Love – Despairing in Jerusalem
Jerusalem was a bustling metropolis in Judea that was occupied by mostly Jews, but of course, since it was under the rule of Rome, there were plenty of Romans and other ethnic groups living there. What was going on in the minds of the Jews in Jerusalem the day before the Messiah Jesus Christ was born six miles outside of Jerusalem in the small farming village of Bethlehem? Were they actively seeking, praying for, and yearning for a Messiah?
The majority of the Jews probably weren’t because it had been over four hundred years since the Lord even spoke to the people through a prophet. And because their ‘prayers’ (if there were any) weren’t being answered then four things may have happened. They may have become:
1. Impatient – they were tired of waiting. And when people get tired of waiting, they often do this....they act....
2. Independently – they take things into their own hands. They were tired of waiting on the Lord so they came up with their own false messiahs, or just did their own thing spiritually.
3. Indignant – being impatient and acting independently they would also become angry – indignant (Not indigent as I erroneously gave to the tech team to put on the screen!). They would either be verbally angry with the Lord, or more than likely they would become passive-aggressive – not go to Temple, not pray, not bring the right sacrifice. And if they didn’t repent at this point they might very well become...
4. Indifferent – a sad point in which they had no feeling – they just didn’t care anymore.
We or the world can do the same thing. We don’t see our prayers being answered so we become impatient; we act independently, thinking that we are helping the Lord by doing it ‘our way’, and when we still are getting the ‘right answers’ then we become indignant/angry and passive-aggressively avoid church, prayer, giving, Bible reading, all as ways that we think we are punishing God for not answering us, but instead it’s only hurting us. And then if we let it go too far, we become indifferent to the things of God, which is a sad place to be. At that point we must pray for God’s mercy to open and soften the person’s heart.
Rather than live this way, the Lord wants us to learn how to wait upon Him. His timing is always perfect, but it might take a while – a long while. This is why it helps tremendously to have God’s Word hidden in our heart, and to walk with Him sincerely (like Simeon and Anna in our key verses from the end of Luke 2), as well as to trust that the Lord God is completely sovereign, infinite in His mercy, and perfect in His love to us. He knows what He is doing. He will come through in His timing and way, and for our good and for His glory.