Volume. XXVIII, No. 47
Sunday, 25 May 2014


From the Pastors heart: Waiting on God 3


Psalm 104 speaks of the greatness of God the Creator and the absolute necessity of the dependency of His creatures on Him. This very truth gives us the third reason for us to wait on God always. The earth is satisfied with the fruit of the work of God (verse 13, “He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works”). God provides vegetation for His creatures as described in Psalm 104:13-18.  The psalmist says that it is the Lord’s work providing the hills with water.  It is God who causes grass to grow in order to feed the cattle and offers vegetation for our food in verse 14.  He calls the trees “the trees of the Lord” in verse 16.  The Lord also plants the cedars of Lebanon.  Though some trees may not bear fruits for our consumption, they provide shelters for birds. The birds have their nests on the trees, too. God provides high mountains for the mountain goats, and rocks for conies in verse 18. I have seen wild goats in the mountain areas. In fact, it was very impressive for me to see that they were able to climb up sharp hills and to walk at the edges of the cliffs. Conies are small and do not have any means to defend themselves.  Their paws are not able to dig the ground but climb the rocks. Thus, they build their homes in the rocks, which become their shelter and refuge from wild animals. God made and ordained the Sun and the Moon to give us light. He also provides us with night for our rest in verses 19-23. Both the earth and the sea  are full of the works of God as described in verses 24-36. There are some heart moving and touching verses in this psalm. For example, read verse 21, “the young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.” Verses 27-29 say, “These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. 28That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. 29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” Having thought of all these things, the psalmist was moved to give his personal reflection in verse 31. “The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.” Whether it is animal kingdom, universe, or man after God’s own image, there is one common underlying truth: everything waits upon God for His help and provision.  

We find many names from the natural kingdom in this psalm. There are both small and great animals. There are leviathan (v. 26), lions (v. 21), beast of the field and wild asses (v. 11), and beasts of the forest (v. 20).  There are creeping things (v. 25) and flying birds (vv. 12, 17). Whatever and whoever they are, all wait upon God as verse 27 says.  It is God who created all of them, and it is also God who keeps and maintains them all.  It implies that the waiting on the Lord is a very act of true confession of faith in and dependency on Him. Through waiting on Him, we do acknowledge that He is the creator, provider, and sustainer. Waiting upon God reflects our inner attitude that we are incapable of doing anything without Him. It is almost the same confession as the Lord taught us that we are nothing and cannot do anything without Him (John 15:5).  

Related to the thought that God is not only the Creator but also the provider for all our needs, there are some more thoughts and lessons we must consider. The first thought is the very fact that it is God who has given us life.  He gave us not only the life itself by making us “living souls.” He is the only and unique life-sustainer. He provides water to the hills, causes grass to grow, and offers plants and trees for food and shelter, Sun and Moon for day and night, and food for everyone. The second thought is that waiting on Him is a sign of our blessedness not of misery. We may look at such a state in which we must wait on God from two perspectives.  We wait on Him for our daily needs. It is because He is able to provide all our needs.  It is a privilege to wait on Him, because this waiting comes from a very personal relationship with and intimate knowledge of Him.  On the other hand, there are times when we may have to cry to Him for help, because we have needs. We may face such trying and difficult times that cause us to agonize and cry over them. They are sad moments in our lives. However, waiting on God offers us a hope with certainty that our all knowing and loving God will help us. We find strength even in our helplessness through the help of the Lord.  

Spiritually, waiting on God offers countless learning opportunities. First of all, we learn to depend on God. When we wait on God, we deny our self-sufficiency. In fact, while we are waiting on God, we confess that we are only limited and feeble beings who must depend on Him. Life itself testifies of the insufficiency of our strength.  Matthew 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” We do not have power to direct our own path, to prevent all challenges from happening, and to provide all our needs. If we read this verse literally, we may think that human beings are not really much better than birds in the air and flowers on the earth, which seem to live one day at a time. Today is not tomorrow, and today’s sorrow is sufficient for the day, but there will be another unknown day tomorrow. However, the ones waiting on God have sure hope in God that He is very present help in times of needs.  2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”  Waiting on God provides the sufficiency we need, which will lead us to depend on Him.

Second, we learn to be in the place we ought to be. The attitude of waiting on God will provide us with invaluable lessons about us, His creatures. Learn from nature, for example. Even young lions wait on God for their prey. Birds wait on God for their nests. In fact, Jesus talks in Matthew 6 about birds in the air and lilies in the field. God feeds the birds and clothes the lilies with beauty and glory.  The cattle in the field wait on God for their food. The psalmist strikes on that very point in Psalm 104:27, “These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.” They all wait on God. Then, why don’t we? The place of waiting on Him is the place where we ought to be. We are not the master and ultimate provider for our lives. We are not the commanders who demand God what He must do. We are the ones who humbly wait on Him for His grace and provision. We confess our helplessness and wait on His boundless grace and mercy.  The whole nature proclaims and declares the message to us: “Wait on Him.”

Third, we learn to live by faith. Waiting on God implies and presupposes that there are times we must depend on Him wholly and sincerely. We may not be able to see the light in darkness.  We may suffer with many lacks and shortages in supply. However, waiting on God is an expression of the exercise of our faith in such times. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we walk by faith, not by sight. There are times we must show that our walk is only by faith. It is the time to wait on Him. Andrew Murray says, “Waiting on God, unceasing and entire dependence upon Him, is the only true faith in heaven and earth, the one unalterable and all-comprehensive expression for the true relationship to the ever-blessed One in whom we live.”  

“My soul, wait thou only upon God!”

 Lovingly,
 Your pastor

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

 Kitchen Roster Leader: Today: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day:  Dn Colin Gan.
*Anniversary Greetings from Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe (Melb); Bro David & Sis Susan Weng & family (Kaohsiung).
*Congratulations to Bro Yick Ho & Sis Kerrie Lam on the birth of their daughter, Isabella.
*New Sunday School Teachers’ Training  Course starts in June. If Interested, please see Bro Joseph Selvanayagam or Deaconess Purdee Yeo ASAP.
*All worshippers are encouraged to attend Bible Study classes & fellowship activities.
*Catered fellowship lunch today is FREE.

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang (Adl/Pinaaroo), Houston Li (Goolwa/Adl) & Raphael Ng (Waikerie/Adl) & William Song (Melb/Adl); Sisters Daphne Lai (Adl) & Fan Xu (Per); & others who have arrived safely at their destinations.  
Church activities in the past week.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Visitors & new worshippers.
Job: Sis Fan Xu (Perth)
18th Anniversary Thanksgiving - New Life BPC, London.
Normal labour & delivery: Sis Kerrie Lam; Safe arrival of second child: Isabella

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicia’s father - S’pore); Sisters Nita Chong’s cousin (Mr Seck Aik Foo), Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Margaret Hooper, Grace Gan’s father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Ruth Ngoma, Iris Surman’s brother, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi, Susan Weng & Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong; Mr Lucas Lee; Mr Tony Zhang; Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Mumbai); & others in affliction.
Special Prayer: Sis Queenie Lau (post-op recovery in RAH); Bro Herbert (Dilly) Anderson, missionary to Kenya (recovery from pneumonia & renal failure).
God’s Comfort & Strength: Sis WolHee Lee (Kim) & family (S Korea).
iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim.
Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry(Phnom Penh); Khmer pastors & their families.
Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Filadelfia B-P Church, orphanage & kindergarten.
New Life BPC (London) - strength & encouragement for congregation. Resident Preacher Mok.
Future ministry - God’s provision & guidance for Bro David & Sis Susan Weng.  
Ministry in Ebenezer BPC (May & June): Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe.
Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo/Adl), Houston Li (Goolwa/Adl) & Raphael Ng (Waikerie/Adl); & others travelling.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Health in pregnancy: Sisters May Lau & Tabitha Tan.
God’s guidance & wisdom for those in authority in Australia.
PR application: Bro William Song; Sisters Xiao Hui Chye & Yashu Qin.
God’s guidance & opportunity - Sis Fan Xu in Perth.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063