bits from bob....


by Bob Young
©, 2013, Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

When have you really anticipated something? When have you longed for something to change? When have you waited so long that you can hardly stand it? Maybe you have awaited something with a sense of dread. Anticipation is not a commonly used word in the Bible. Anticipation is generally viewed as positive. More often our translations use waiting. Waiting can be positive or negative.

Noah waited for the flood waters to subside. After he received the promise from God, Abraham awaited many years for the birth of his promised son. In Egypt, the Israelites were awaiting God's deliverance. Saul did not wait for Samuel to arrive to offer the sacrifice. The Psalmist often refers to patiently waiting for God. In the Old Testament prophets, waiting for God is blessed. Throughout much of the Old Testament period, Israel was awaiting the Messiah. Luke records that Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel and that the people were waiting to see if John might be the Messiah. After Jesus ascended, the Apostles were waiting for the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1, the disciples waited and God acted marvelously. Christians in the first century were eagerly awaiting and longing for the return of Jesus. Christians today likewise await Jesus' coming.

Anticipating is often related to hope. We want things to get better, or believe that things are going to get better. Christians look ahead with hope because we know whatever happens will ultimately be of God and not based on our own efforts or plans.

Waiting indicates that there will be a time of transition and newness. Waiting often means a clean break with the past and a transition to new challenges, new opportunities, and new possibilities.

Waiting is used to issue a challenge: "What are you waiting for?" Why not do what you know to do?

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Last updated August 23, 2013