Israel had been waiting for thousands of years. From that moment in the garden with the bite of fruit and the rebellion of mankind God’s people had been waiting. Waiting for the curse of sin to be broken. Waiting for the serpent to be crushed. They were waiting.
God had promised a Saviour was coming. We have seen that already on our advent journey. But He didn’t say when the Saviour was coming. And so the people had to wait. And as they waited it seemed as though things were going the wrong way. They ended up as slaves in Egypt. For 400 years they toiled, making bricks for the oppressive regime of an empire of Pharaohs. And they waited, trusting that the Saviour God had promised was coming.
Then Moses came to lead the people to God’s promised land, the land of milk and honey. The people thought the wait was over. But Moses was not the perfect Saviour. He led the people, but he was flawed. He could not atone for their sin. And the people got impatient. They made their own god out of gold, in the shape of a calf. They tried to make things happen in their own time. When they got to the promised land they demanded their own king. They struggled to wait on God’s timing. They wanted things to happen now.
And because they continued down the path trod by our first parents Adam and Eve and continued to rebel against God he allowed them to be taken captive by the Babylonian empire. The people of God were taken from the promised land, and again they had to wait. They waited for a return to the promised land, and they waited fdornthe Saviour King, whose rule would never end, and who would avenge those nations that had dared attack God’s people. They waited.
The prophets shared messages from God, reminding the people that the Saviour was coming. Reminding them that God had not forgotten them. That God had not abandoned them. Reminding them to keep waiting with hope, for a Saviour was coming. Reminding them that “the people who walk in darkness will see a great light” (Isaiah 9:2). Reminding them that “God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them” (Isaiah 9:4). Reminding them that the Saviour was coming, the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” was coming (Isaiah 9:6). And so in the midst of it all, through captivity, through return, through struggles, through rebellion, through revival, through it all, for thousands of years God’s people waited. They waited for the Saviour who would restore their relationship with God. They waited for the everlasting King who would overthrow the empires of the world that oppressed them and establish an unending Kingdom. They waited, longingly, expectantly, desperately. They waited.
And God was faithful. He was true to His word. The Saviour who is Christ the King came that first Christmas night, the proof that God keeps His promises. The proof that though the wait may be long, He is faithful. The proof that God doesn’t give up on or abandon His people, even when we rebel against Him.
And as we wait then return of Jesus, as we await the triumphant merge of heaven and earth in that glorious wedding ceremony between the Groom and His bride we can wait with hope, for we know God is true to His word. Though the wait may be long and the night dark God is faithful as we wait. No matter what circumstances you face today, as you wait for God to break through and bring rescue wait with hope, for the Christmas story reminds us that God cares for us and none who wait on the Lord will be disappointed. Don’t try and force things to happen in your own timing, to your own agenda but rather wait on God’s timing and trust in His perfect plan.