Volume. XXVIII, No. 46
Sunday, 18 May 2014

From Pastors heart: Waiting on God - 2

Two weeks ago, we thought of the first reason why we needed to wait for God, which was, that God is the God of our salvation.  Today, we want to study the second reason why we need to wait for Him, which is, that salvation comes from Him.  Jacob said in Genesis 49:18, “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.”  Jacob called his twelve sons before he died and gave his spiritual bequest in Genesis 49.  In this chapter, he uttered prophecies for each of his sons.  The study of this chapter may not be easy because of the nature of biblical prophecies, but there are at least two points we need to observe: (1) According to verse 28, these prophetic utterances were to bless his sons and children.  Verse 28 says, “All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.”  Some of his words are quite harsh and striking and also remind his sons of their evil deeds in the past.  However, Judah was an exception.  Though he was foolish in chapter 38, Jacob’s prophecy of him promised a bright future of his descendants.  (2) These blessing were also prophecies.  Though Jacob’s sons received these prophecies, they did not see their fulfillments in their lifetime.  We know that all of them lived and died in Egypt. 

Before we come to Genesis 49:18, we find that Jacob uttered prophecies to his seven sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, and Dan).  Just before Jacob uttered the words of faith in verse 18, he spoke of the tribe of Dan in verses 16 and 17, which are full of gruesome words: “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.”  The prophecy, “Dan shall judge his people” is also a description of his name.  Genesis 30:6 says, “And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.”Dan was a son through Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid.  This tribe served more destructive purposes and Judges 18 is a good example.  Dan is not listed in the list of the tribes of Israel in Revelation 7:5-8.  Having spoken of Dan in such a helpless manner, Jacob uttered the words of hope and faith in verse 18. 

Keil and Delitzsch expound the verse as following: “But this manifestation of strength, which Jacob expected from Dan and promised prophetically, presupposed that severe conflicts awaited the Israelites.  For these conflicts Jacob furnished his sons with both shield and sword in the ejaculatory prayer, “I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah!” which was not a prayer for his own soul and its speedy redemption from all evil, but in which, as Calvin has strikingly shown, he expressed his confidence that his descendants would receive the help of his God.  Accordingly, the later Targums (Jerusalem and Jonathan) interpret these words as Messianic, but with a special reference to Samson, and paraphrase ver. 18 thus: ‘Not for the deliverance of Gideon, the son of Joash, does my soul wait, for that is temporary; and not for the redemption of Samson, for that is transitory; but for the redemption of the Messiah, the Son of David, which Thou through Thy Word hast promised to bring to Thy people the children of Israel: for this Thy redemption my soul waits’” (Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 1, 404).

Jacob states that the hope of Israel does not lie in his twelve sons, whoever they are and however strong they are, but in the Messiah, who is the son of David.  Salvation does not come from within Israel but without, which is the Lord Himself.  Whichever way we understand Jacob’s prayer in verse 18, one thing is for sure: his faith is only in God and his expectations are only from Him.  Jacob waited for God’s salvation.  There is no better person than Jacob who could understand this very point. Jacob had to flee from his brother Esau.  Having spent 20 years away from home, he had to come back but was afraid to return, because he expected harsh hands from his own brother in vengeance.  He was greatly afraid and distressed (Genesis 32:7).  He had wives, children, servants, and cattle, but no military strength to face the valor of his brother.  He was desperate, and there was no one who could deliver him from dangers.  His only hope was in God.  He prayed to God in Genesis 32:11, “Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.”  He received God’s deliverance later.  Jacob knew by experience that God was the hope of his children too. 

However, such assurance of God’s deliverance did not strengthen Jacob at once.  He struggled at times and fell back into despair.  God told him to return to his home land in Genesis 31:13, “I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.”  God rescued him from Laban’s pursuing hands (Genesis 31:42).  He met the angels of God (Genesis 32:1).  However, he was still afraid of facing the situation to meet his brother, Esau.  He had to be assured and reassured till he experienced his name change from Jacob to Israel in Genesis 32:28.  Jacob finally learnt that the One whom he had to wait for was the Lord Himself.  He knew that the Lord is the Lord of his salvation. 

Now let us bring this point to the truth of our salvation. From the beginning till end, the salvation of our souls is of the Lord.  There is no other God beside Him, and there is no other way to heaven but through Jesus Christ.  There is no other Savior who is also our advocate, Jesus the Christ.  The Spirit of God convicts us of our sins and brings us to Christ through His regenerating power.  As we put our faith and trust in Jesus, we are declared to be righteous.  No, not through works, but faith alone.  Christ’s once for all sacrifice suffices all our needs in eternity.  We are brought into the family of God.  We are saved by His grace.

However, there is also a physical side of His salvation we need to consider.  For example,Luke 18:42 says, “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.”  Jesus is talking about physical healing in this verse.  It implies that the Lord also works in our daily life and walk in this world for our needs.  Probably, this side of the truth is given for our benefits from man’s point of view.  People standing next to the cross said in Luke 23:35, “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”  They did not believe in Jesus saving souls but saw Him delivering many from their problems. 

Waiting for God means to surrender to Him and obey Him for His salvation and deliverance.  We are helpless beings, and our confidence must not be in ourselves but in Him.  This realization is the very beginning of our waiting for Him.  Andrew Murray says, “. . . the deep blessed background of all our praying and working will be: ‘Truly my soul waiteth upon God’ (Psalm 62:1).”  It is a blessed cry, “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” 

Your Pastor

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Kitchen Roster Leader: Today: Volunteer. Next Lord’s Day:  Bro Boong Atijatuporn.
*New Sunday School Teachers’ Training  Course starts in June. If Interested, please see Bro Joseph Selvanayagam or Deaconess Purdee Yeo ASAP.
*Please invite your family, relatives & friends to join us in our 28th Anniversary Thanksgiving next week.
*All worshippers are encouraged to attend Bible Study classes & fellowship activities.

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang (Adl/Pinaaroo), Houston Li (Goolwa/Adl), Raphael Ng (Waikerie/Adl) & William Song (Melb/Adl); Sisters Lydia Fan (S’pore), Daphne Lai (HK) & Jun Lin (Adl); & 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 Yashu Qin
New Life BPC, London: confirmation of Resident Preacher by congregation.

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 (for surgery tomorrow); 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 - Bro John Saray & Ministry (Kampot); Bro Sun Sokha & Ministry (Phnom Penh).
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); Sisters Fan Xu (Syd) & Daphne Lai (Adl); & others travelling.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Safe labour & delivery: Sis Kerrie Lam
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 Sydney



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