Job 14:14, NKJV
“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service [appointed time], I will wait, till my change comes.”
Isaiah 8:17, NKJV
“And I will wait on the Lord, who hides his face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in him.”
Genesis 40:12-14, NLT “This is what the dream means,” Joseph said. “the three branches represent three days. Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cupbearer. And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well with for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place.”
Genesis 40 :20-23, NLT “Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials. He then restored the chief cupbearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup. But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted when he interpreted his dream. Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.”
Wait- God Is At Work – There has hardly been any generation in civilization that has such a disdain for “waiting” as this present generation. Max Lucado in his very insightful devotional, You’ll Get Through This, puts the matter simply: “We don’t like to wait.” One reason is because people live in an incessant age of the “immediate” and the “instant.” In spite of our fast-paced world, as people of faith we are encouraged to understand and follow the foundational principles of “waiting,” which are found in the scriptures. We learn from the scriptures that waiting through the intervals of life is not a passive experience. Waiting engages our faith, to help us attain expectant results. While there are numerous ancient words in the Old Testament, which are rendered “wait;” two Hebrew words used frequently, stand out. Job, through his anguish and human misery, declares regardless of his troubles, he would “wait” (yachal) until his circumstances change. The word here means “to have hope,” or “to be expectant,” although being “pierced through” (cf. Job 14:14, NKJV). Similarly, the prophet Isaiah describes waiting (chakah) as being “shaped” into something of value for God (cf. Isaiah 8:17, NKJV). A similar word, chaqah, means “to be carved,” as a stone being contoured to a certain shape. There is no difficulty or trial we could ever encounter, where God is not shaping our destiny. Waiting gives us a spiritual outlook on our circumstances; rather than causing us to succumb to the present difficulties. When Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s personal cupbearer and baker, he was aware that God had a plan for Egypt, his family, and for him. Confident that interpreting the cupbearer’s dream would result in a positive turn of events for him, Joseph saw in this an opportunity for him to appeal his situation to Pharaoh. Joseph boldly asked the cupbearer to “mention him” to Pharaoh. Joseph did not realize that it would take a while for his request to reach the king; nevertheless, he waited with hope (cf. Genesis 40: 12-14, NLT). Three days after Joseph had shared the encouraging news to the cupbearer, Pharaoh freed the wine taster from prison and restored his position. In the cupbearer’s jubilation, he “forgot” Joseph’s request, which resulted in Joseph having to wait “two years” before any consideration could be given for his release from prison. Joseph waited!
Psalm 40:1-3, NLT
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on a solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”
Genesis 41:1-4, NLT
“Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the Nile River. In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and began grazing in the marsh grass. Then he saw seven more cows come up behind them from the Nile, but these were scrawny and thin. These cows stood beside the fat cows on the riverbank. Then the scrawny, thin cows ate the seven healthy, fat cows. At this point in the dream, Pharaoh woke up.”
Genesis 41:8a, c; 9, NLT “The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams...When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant. Finally, the king’s chief cupbearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure, he told Pharaoh.”
Genesis 41:14a; 15-16, NLT “Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from prison...Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one can tell me what it means. But
I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.” “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
Waiting Is Preparation For Life Forward – Wherever we are, and whatever our circumstances , we are awaiting God’s movement in our circumstances. Waiting gives us confidence that we can trust God for the results in our lives. The psalmist reflected on what it’s like to experience God’s presence, as a result of waiting on Him (cf. Psalm 40:1-3, NLT). Max Lucado says, “This planet is God’s waiting room...We dwell in the land between prayer offered, and prayer answered.” Joseph’s request that the cupbearer mention his plight to Pharaoh would not occur for two years. Joseph “expected” his situation would change, and the waiting did not deter him from his belief. Nothing was automatic for Joseph. He was seventeen when he was brought to Egypt as a slave. Joseph spent 9-10 years in Potiphar’s house, although still a servant. He was sent back to the dungeon for another year before he interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and baker; and, another 2 years before Pharaoh’s alarming dream (cf. Genesis 41:1-4, NLT). After two years, the cupbearer admitted that he had defaulted on his promise to inform Pharaoh about Joseph’s circumstances (cf. Genesis 41:8a, c; 9, NLT). Joseph waited 2 years on a promise that was not kept! What’s known of Joseph’s earliest time in Egypt, was that he had the status of a slave-servant for about 13 years. From the time Joseph arrived in Egypt at the age of 17, it was not until he reached age 30, that he finally had audience with Pharaoh in his throne room. Despite hid ordeal, Joseph was blessed with a gift that was indispensable for the survival of Egypt. When Pharaoh lauded Joseph for his gift, Joseph deferred all credit to God (cf. Genesis 41:14a; 15-16, NLT). It is when we “wait” with patience for God to intervene in our circumstances, we develop strong and mature spiritual character. In his helpful book, You’ll Get Through This, Max Lucado says, “Jail time did not devastate [Joseph’s] faith, it deepened it.” He comments further, “Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait, is to rest in the Lord...” Whatever we’re trying to get through, we must learn to wait! Waiting cultivates and delivers our hope!
KEY IDEA What We Believe The place of waiting, is between prayers offered and prayers answered. 1. Waiting will engage our faith in the most active, expectant way! 2. Waiting is God’s place of preparation for life going forward.