Shadows, Hints and Whispers of His Coming
Throughout the Old Testament, God spoke to His people about this promise and gave them things to watch for in order to recognize the Savior’s coming. God revealed that the Messiah would be born in the line of David (Isa. 9:6-7), of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10) and in the town of Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2). He would be a Man of Sorrows—crushed, despised and rejected—justifying many through what He suffered (Isa. 53). The promised Rescuer would be a light overcoming darkness (Isa. 9:2), a Preacher of Good News to the poor (Isa. 61) and One walking in the power of the Spirit (Isa. 42:1). There were hints and shadows of Him everywhere.
God also reminded His people not to lose heart as they waited for the Savior to come. It’s important to remember that God did not fulfill His promise right away. His people waited a long time. They spoke of the promised Rescuer from generation to generation, enduring cycles of war, rebellion, captivity and restoration. They watched and waited—anxiously, expectantly—for God’s faithfulness.
We can all identify with feeling hopeless and helpless, especially when it comes to the weight of sin. Heavy and inescapable, we know its effects with every breath—both our own sin and that of others. Our world is full of evidence that something is wrong and needs to be made right. The reason we celebrate Advent is because the story of the Garden doesn’t end with man’s rebellion.
God makes a promise, and, as we’ll see in the weeks to come, He keeps it perfectly.
• Consider Israel’s long wait for the Savior to come. How do you think God’s people fought against doubt, discouragement and the temptation to believe God forgot them?
•• Are you good at waiting? Why or why not? What makes some promises easier to wait on than others?
••• God often gives us seasons of waiting to sift and strengthen our faith. If you are in a season of waiting, what might the Lord be teaching you?
•••• How strong is your confidence that God keeps His promises? Then read 2 Corinthians 1:19-20. How does this passage affect your understanding of God’s faithfulness?
(Devotional credit: The Village Church – “Advent: He Keeps His Promises” )