By Claudine Lehman
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the spirit he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in arms and praised God, saying:
‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people. A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.'” Luke 2:25-32
This final Christmas song in Luke is a worship hymn from the lips of Simeon, an upright and devout man who was waiting for the coming Messiah, Israel’s consolation.
The word “waiting” caught my attention as I read this. Maybe because I’ve always had a hard time waiting. This passage tells us Simeon waited and the Holy Spirit was upon him, and that he would live to see the Messiah. Therefore he was in the right place (temple courts) at the right time (when parents came with the child) to see the Child Jesus, Israel’s consolation. What if Simeon had not been a “waiting” person?
I noticed too that Simeon was worshiping while waiting for the “coming Messiah.” He was blessing God for keeping his promise even though Simeon had not yet seen the Messiah. He was praising God that he was going to be privileged to see the Lord’s Christ. This reminds me of a time my husband gently reminded me that I needed to start praising God for who He is even though I couldn’t see He doing anything. Simeon was a man of faith who worshiped waiting patiently.
I noticed too that Simeon was at peace. Peace while waiting. He wasn’t afraid to die. Death meant freedom from the cares and burdens of this life and blessings of the next life. His was peacefully waiting.
“He was waiting for the Messiah the consolation of Israel.” [vs. 25]
Think with me for a minute about this word “wait.” How many ways can we wait? Patiently wait? Eagerly wait? Or do we wait “with a shove,” a hurry up? Do we wait in fear? Are we tired of waiting? Impatiently waiting? The list is endless.
I believe Simeon’s waiting involved focusing on all the promises of God. It involved many times of quiet solitude waiting to hear what God would say–times of daily searching the Scripture to learn the will and ways of God. Simeon had been waiting all his life. He would have been a working man, so the waiting had to involve a regular work day when he looked at life through the eyes of God, not man.
Simeon was an upright and devout man, who waited for the coming Messiah, Israel’s consolation.
I want to be like Simeon–waiting with patient, in eager expectation of what God has next for me. I need to find times of quiet solitude to listen . . . longer times to be taught by the Word of God. I desire a heart to be obedient to the will of God. I too am waiting eagerly to see the Lord’s Christ.