Waiting on God

That's following in the footsteps of our forefathers.

Hosea 12:2-6 (NKJV)

The LORD also brings a charge against Judah,
And will punish Jacob according to his ways;
According to his deeds He will recompense him.
He took his brother by the heel in the womb,
And in his strength he struggled with God.
Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed;
He wept, and sought favor from Him.
He found Him in Bethel,
And there He spoke to us—
That is, the LORD God of hosts.
The LORD is His memorable name.
So you, by the help of your God, return;
Observe mercy and justice,
And wait on your God continually.

The LORD says He will punish Jacob according to his ways, and then proceeds to recite some key parts of Jacob’s life. What’s that all about?

The key is the line, “He found Him in Bethel.” Jacob first went to Bethel in Genesis 28 and found God there. But, after wrestling with God in Genesis 32, he’s transformed. Then he returned to Bethel in Genesis 35. There the LORD spoke to Jacob, renamed him Israel, and revealed His own memorable name (Yahweh).

So you, by the help of your God, return;
Observe mercy and justice,
And wait on your God continually.

They need to follow in the footsteps of their forefather Jacob and return to the LORD.

What about the footsteps of our forefathers—the apostles? They turned the world upside down for Christ. How did they do it?

By doing what Hosea 12:6 says. Observe mercy and justice, And wait on your God continually.

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. — Acts 2:46–47 (NKJV)

They’re waiting! It’s their response to this.

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” — Acts 1:4–5 (NKJV)

But waiting isn’t the endpoint; it’s not the goal. The waiting is waiting on God, waiting for His direction—to know what’s next. It’s not a command to be couch potatoes. In the case of the apostles, God effectively told them what’s next through a persecution that scattered them.

That’s how they took the gospel to the ends of the earth.

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Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.