Living in Living Expectation
“Behold, this Child is appointed to cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (Luke 2:33b-35b)
Eve, “the mother of all the living,” was the first to express a living expectation in response to God’s PROMISE found in Genesis 3:15, which stated, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” by naming her first son, Cain, and with gratitude exclaimed, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man” (Genesis 4:1b), thinking he was the seed to crush Satan who deceived her. But Cain became a tool of Satan and killed his own brother. However, Eve did not give up living in expectation of the PROMISE. When the first ‘sign of salvation’ appeared in a later pregnancy, she recognized him, and named him Seth at birth, and said, “God has granted me another seed in place of Abel, since Cain killed him” (Genesis 4:25). And with Seth, came along a returning to the Lord, a revival as stated in Genesis 4:26: “And to Seth also a son was born, and he called him Enosh. At that time men began to call upon the name of the LORD.”
Enoch, the father of Methuselah, lived in expectation of the PROMISE by walking with God and prophesied about the coming judgement found in Jude 1:14–15. Enoch’s living expectation became reality when he was translated to heaven without tasting death.
In living expectation of the PROMISE, the Pre-Flood God-fearers worshipped God so they could use their energies, talents, skills, and resources to honor him, their benevolent benefactor. But the godless lot used their energies, talents, skills, and resources to make themselves gods, masters of the earth, a delusion that saw them wiped off the face of the earth by a God-sent flood and Enoch’s prophesy was fulfilled: “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince (Psalm 82:6–7).
Noah lived in expectation of the PROMISE by preaching for about 120 years without winning one soul apart from his family, making him the most unsuccessful preacher in history from an earthly view.
Abraham lived in expectation of the PROMISE by obeying the Lord’s request to offer Isaac, his only son, to Him as a sacrifice, but the Lord stopped him and provided a ram in place of Isaac. Abraham’s living expectation “reasoned that God could even raise the dead” (Hebrews 11:19).
Hagar, the misused Egyptian concubine of Abraham, expressed her living expectation in the PROMISE and called the God of Abraham who saved her in her flight from oppression, El Roi, “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).
Jacob lived in expectation of the PROMISE by wrestling with God through the night and his name was changed from Jacob, the deceiver, to Israel, an overcomer (Genesis 32:28).
Joseph lived in living expectation of the PROMISE by forgiving his brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
The Egyptian midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, lived in living expectation of the PROMISE by refusing to kill Hebrew newborn sons as commanded by Pharaoh, and God rewarded them by opening their wombs to have their own children.
The prophets, from Moses to Malachi, in living expectation of the PROMISE condemned the idolatry of Israel, prophesied its exile, and its restoration.
And Mary, in living expectation of the PROMISE, believed the message from Angel Gabriel, that she was the woman whose seed will crush the head of the serpent and save humanity from Satan: “He has helped his servant Israel,” she praised God, “in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (Luke 1:54–55).
And when the PROMISE arrived, were any found living in living expectation? The religious bodies were not ready: the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, teachers of the Law, the chief priests, the high priest, the rulers, the professionals, and many of the average Joes. They were busy with their lives as important personalities, attending to the important duties of national identity preservation instead of walking in the Covenant PROMISE. They were living in ‘dead’ expectation.
But look who were ready to receive him: Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna for they were all waiting for the redemption of Israel. These represent the very heart of the Old Covenant, people on whom the Holy Spirit was upon and moving for His purposes. If at the close of the Old Covenant Era these were the kind of people who saw the PROMISE, would it be any different at the return of the Messiah when the PROMISE is fully consummated?
Are you living in living expectation of the PROMISED return of the MESSIAH? Your thoughts will be revealed in what you ultimately live in expectation of each day of your life. “Behold, this Child is appointed to cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (Luke 2:33b-35b)
Would you be living in living expectation of the PROMISED return of the MESSIAH this NEW Year? Upon such the Holy Spirt has descended. Upon such the PROMISE becomes a reality each day of their lives: in the valleys and on the mountain tops. Upon such the Holy Spirit moves. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10).
HAPPY NEW YEAR