Before you jump into one of the last installments I want to encourage you with this verse, James 4:8a “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” I love this verse so much, even more after my study in Lamentations. He wants you, more than you could imagine.
Wait as – the readiness and anticipation to act
(Chuwl, Sabar, Proskartereo, Prosdechomai, Apekdechomai, Anameno, Yachal, Prosdokao, Chakah, Ekdechomai, Shamar)
An immediate difference between this category and the previous four is that the majority of its uses are found in the New Testament; whereas the preceding categories were more prevalent in the Old Testament. This may be linked to change in atmosphere, both on the ground level and the theological one. The situation found in the New Testament is one of expedited growth, miracles and change. Much was happening in a very short time and in a very concentrated geographic area. The mood is reflected in the choice of language, which would explain why there is such a dominant shift in regards to what it means to wait. On the theological level, Christ had come. Simply put, this changed everything including what people were waiting for and how they were now expected to wait.
All wait is to some degree a delay of action. Even in service, the delay in action is enacted by acting for someone else’s behalf, therefore delaying action for yourself. But there is a difference between lowering your weapon and setting it down on the table. The fifth category evokes a wait equivalent to a soldier standing at ready. Scripture supports this viewpoint: “told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him (Mk 3:9),” “we eagerly await (Gal 5:5),” “waiting [outside the temple] wondering why he stayed so long (Lk 1:21).”
The wait is one of intensity, high emotions and requires the utmost energy and attention. Such a wait cannot be endured for very long and the terms listed are only used for, at least for what are expected to be, short waits. This is both relieving and challenging. Relieving in terms of our expectation of Christ’s return. If these are the words chosen under inspiration to describe our expectation, than our hope will soon be fulfilled (1Th 1:10, Lk 23:51, Rom 8:25). Yet we are challenged by this expectation because the way we are meant to wait is made clear. We are to stand at ready, anticipating, will full expectation, the return of Christ. This short delay is also meant to expedite our efforts as priests and evangelists.