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Living to See It

Wait, just a little longer.  But we’re like children; “a little longer” feels like forever.
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Abraham lived to see the promised son born (Genesis 17:15-19).  But he didn’t live to see his offspring grow into a nation (Gen 12:2), or inherit the land promised (Gen 12:7), or see the singular seed arise who would possess the gate of his enemy (Gen 22:17).

David lived to see Solomon on his throne (1 Kings 1:47-48), but not to see his greater son rule forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13,16).

Jeremiah lived to see his prophecies fulfilled—Judah fallen & taken into exile (Jer 20:4-5), the disaster of running to Egypt (Jer 42:14-17).  But he didn’t live to see the fulfillment of his prophecy of returning from exile after 70 years (Jer 29:10).

Simeon lived to see the infant Messiah (Luke 2:25-26), but didn’t live to see him preach and teach (verses 29-32).

John the Baptist lived to see Jesus increase while he decreased (John 3:30), but didn’t live to see Jesus with his winnowing fork in his hand executing the Lord’s judgments on the brood of vipers (Matthew 3:7-12).

Mary lived to have her soul pierced by grief (Luke 2:34-35), and then to see her son risen and then ascended to heaven (Acts 1:10-11,14).  But she didn’t live to see the return in the same way he left.

Paul lived to see the completion of the course the Lord had set for him (2 Timothy 4:6-8), but not to be among those alive who are to be caught up to meet the Lord, along with those who have been raised (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

There are many more examples; you may have thought of some.  But getting closer to home:

Two generations ago, many brothers and sisters lived to see the promised restoration of the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 11:17).  Some are left, but many are not.  They didn’t live to see the permanent establishment of God’s people such that no one can make them afraid (Eze 34:28)—of course none of us have seen it yet.

I myself lived to see Jerusalem become the capital of Israel (Zechariah 12:6), but not the capital of the world (Isaiah 2:1-4).

What’s my point?

Only the obvious, that God’s promises are fulfilled in His time.  We may not live to see it all.  Which really doesn’t mean anything!  We know this.  But it’s easy to lose heart, isn’t it?  David on several occasions speaks for us: “How long, O Lord?” 

Although we haven’t (so far) lost our lives for the sake of the gospel, the “souls under the altar” speak for us:

“O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

The answer given to them may help:

“Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer…” (Revelation 6:9-11)

Wait, just a little longer.  But we’re like children; “a little longer” feels like forever.

I earnestly hope I’ll live to see the coming of the Lord, the fulfillment of all those promises I’ve mentioned.  But, who knows, perhaps I’ll end up joining the company of those who didn’t live to see it.

I hope, with those who remained faithful nonetheless.

Love, Paul

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