Luke 2:8 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Psalm 70:1-5 “Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord! Let them be ashamed and confounded Who seek my life; Let them be turned back[a] and confused Who desire my hurt. Let them be turned back because of their shame, Who say, “Aha, aha!” Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!”
Has God ever been slow in your life? He was in David’s. This undoubtedly was one of the psalms written when David was being harassed by King Saul. So he cries out, “Lord, why don’t You do something? You’re being awfully slow.”
Have you ever pondered the delays of God? He is never in a hurry, but once He starts to work, watch out! He patiently accomplishes His work. David pleads, “Make haste, make haste” (v. 1). He repeats his plea in verse 5: “I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O God!You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.” If right now it seems as though God is tarrying instead of working, if it seems as though He is delaying instead of acting, what should you do? Seek Him and wait on Him and love Him. Verse 4 says it beautifully: “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!”‘ We’ve seen that phrase before. David, when he was sinking, said, “I . . . will magnify Him with thanksgiving” (Ps. 69:30).
Here’s a good lesson for us. When God is not moving as rapidly as we think He should, when our timetables do not coincide, what should we do? Rejoice in Him, love Him and magnify Him. Let Him worry about the timetable. God is always working, and we know that all things are working together for good (Rom. 8:28). But He waits for the right time to reveal His victories. Let Him watch the clock.
God’s delays are a part of your character-building process. The next time God gives you a delay, encourage yourself by remembering that He never stops working for you, and He knows when and how to help you. Submit to His timetable and His care.
Moses felt as low as a slug’s belly. Way down there. He still hadn’t rid himself of the idea that he was supposed to be the deliverer, and that he was somehow failing. How many times had God explained it to him? Yet, like many of us, he had trouble keeping a grip on the Lord’s assurances.
Exodus 6:11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.”
“Go to Pharaoh, Lord? My own people just bought me a one-way ticket caravan back to Midian, and You want me to go back to Pharaoh? R-r-r-e—m-m-m-em—ber m-m-me? I’m the guy who can’t t-t-t-talk. Shoot, I’d mess up a rock fight, Lord. I can’t get it together. I’m at the end of my rope. How in the world are You going to pull this off?”
Moses didn’t know it at the moment, but he’d put before the Lord the best proposition yet. I’m at the end of my rope. How are you going to do it?
Before we go any further, I’d like to underline a major truth in this world of ours that I don’t pretend to understand. Here it is: the best framework for the Lord God to do His most ideal work is when things are absolutely impossible and we feel totally unqualified to handle it. That’s His favorite circumstance. Those are His ideal working conditions.
In spite of the Lord’s assurances, things kept going from bad to worse for Moses. He’d already gotten the worst of it in a meeting with Pharaoh, and now, in a subsequent parley with the Israelites, he found himself fresh out of credibility. They would no longer listen to him.
Time after time, He brings us to our absolute end and then proves Himself faithful. That, my friend, is not only the story of my life, it’s the story of the Bible in a nutshell.