Some people in the Bible that had “WAIT” problems
1. King Saul, the first king of Israel had a “wait” problem that cost him his position.
1Sa 13:1 SAUL WAS [forty] years old when he began to reign; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, 1Sa 13:2 Saul chose 3,000 men of Israel; 2,000 were with [him] in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and 1,000 with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent away, each one to his home. 1Sa 13:3 Jonathan smote the Philistine garrison at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear! 1Sa 13:4 All Israel heard that Saul had defeated the Philistine garrison and also that Israel had become an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal. 1Sa 13:5 And the Philistines gathered to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and troops like sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven. 1Sa 13:6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a tight situation–for their troops were hard pressed–they hid in caves, holes, rocks, tombs, and pits or cisterns. 1Sa 13:7 Some Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 1Sa 13:8 Saul waited seven days, according to the set time Samuel had appointed. But Samuel had not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from Saul. 1Sa 13:9 So Saul said, Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering [which he was forbidden to do]. 1Sa 13:10 And just as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came! Saul went out to meet and greet him. 1Sa 13:11 Samuel said, What have you done? Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were assembled at Michmash, 1Sa 13:12 I thought, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. So I forced myself to offer a burnt offering. 1Sa 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God which He commanded you; for the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever; 1Sa 13:14 But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
When Samuel did not show up on time, Saul decided to take matters into his own hands. According to verse 19, he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, which was something that only priests were allowed to do. Not only did he fail to wait, but he also overstepped his bounds in carrying out priestly duties that were not his to perform. We can see from verses 13 and 14 that this cost Saul his position as king of Israel. David would become the next king after him. I find it interesting that there is no record here of Saul acknowledging his wrong to Samuel or to God. If we read on in I Samuel, we can find other instances of Saul building altars and making offerings. (I Sam. 14:35)
2. Abraham – God gave Abram a promise in Genesis 12 of making him a great nation. Notice he was 75 years old at this time.
Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Gen 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
In Genesis 15, some time has gone by(we don’t know exactly how much)and Abram tells God that he is childless, and he wonders if Eliezer, his steward, will be the heir of the promise of becoming a great nation. God assures him that this is not the case. The heir will come from Abraham’s body.
Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Gen 15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? Gen 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. Gen 15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
In this next passage of Scripture, Abram had been in the land of Canaan for 10 years(which would make him 86 years old. Gen. 16:16). He still had not had a child, so Sarai, his wife convinces him to take her maid Hagar and have a child by her. Hagar has a son named Ishmael, who becomes the father of the Arab nation. If you read on in this chapter, you’ll see that Sarai kicks Hagar and Ishmael out of the house.
Gen 16:1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. Gen 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Gen 16:3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. Gen 16:4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
God next appears to Abraham when he is 99 in Genesis 17.
Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
God tells Abraham that although Ishmael will become a great nation, he will not be Abraham’s heir. The heir would be Isaac who would be born to 90 year old Sarah and 100 year old Abraham.
Gen 17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. Gen 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? Gen 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! Gen 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. Gen 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. Gen 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
For many years, I did not realize that Abraham waited this long to receive his promise. I think if I were in Sarah’s position, I would have grown impatient too. We waited 8 years to have our first child, and at the time, it was much longer than I wanted to wait. In our society today, it is especially hard to wait for things. Many inventions and conveniences such as washer and dryers, microwaves, the Internet and the ability to shop online have greatly reduced our waiting time. We getting accustomed to having things quickly. When it comes to getting direction from God, oftentimes it doesn’t come nearly as fast as we would desire. However, God has given some promises in His Word concerning waiting, but this subject will have to wait for a future post. J