Sometimes we think we need grace right now, but God says wait. When we need grace, God will give it.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Timing is important to God. When we’re dealing with people timing is important to God. He has a perfect time for his purpose. Jesus was very conscious of timing. He came at the fulness of time and according to history, it was around April.
Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts…thou art no more a servant, but a son…an heir of God through Christ.
Jesus knew when it wasn’t time for him to reveal himself.
John 2:1-4 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
Jesus brothers wanted him to reveal himself but they wanted him to show off for their personal benefit. They knew he’d already done a miracle, but didn’t believe he was Messiah. Jesus’ time is not the same as worldly people’s time. We need to be sure that we’re in Jesus’ time by setting priorities to seek his will every day, to control our mind, to cast down imaginations.
John 7:1-13 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said…go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said… My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil…I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words…he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him…said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people…said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
There were some who tried to kill Jesus, but it wasn’t Jesus’ time and God protected him so he escaped.
John 7:30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
Some were angry at Jesus but weren’t able to lay hands on him because it wasn’t his time yet.
John 8:19-20 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
Moses was 40 years old when he killed the Egyptian that was fighting with an Israelite. Moses was educated, a leader of Pharaoh’s army, and he wanted to help his people. It wasn’t God’s way or his time though. Moses looked both ways before he killed the Egyptian, so he knew that it was wrong, and then he hid the body by burying it.
Exodus 2:11-15…when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand…the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard…he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled….and dwelt in the land of Midian…
Stephen preached before he was stoned that Moses thought his brethren would understand he wanted to help them.
Acts 7:22-29 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him…and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. And the next day he shewed himself …as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? Then fled Moses…and was a stranger in the land of Madian…
It wasn’t God’s way or time to deliver the Israelites so Moses ran away to live in Midian. God gave Moses another chance to help but it 40 years later. In the process of time the Israelites wanted help. They didn’t want when Moses tried to help.
Exodus 2:16-25 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bare him a son …called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage…their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God…remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob…had respect unto them.
When God called Moses later, it was different. Moses was humble and had godly fear. He wanted to depend on God, not his own strength as he had before. When we get out of God’s time, we try to do things ourselves. Moses had to wait 40 years for his attitude to be right. God retrains us when we get saved, so we’ll wait on him and crucify ourselves. Moses saw the Israelites needed help but God wanted Moses to wait. When we wait on God, he works out the details as we wait.
Exodus 3:1-6 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law…led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw…God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground…Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
God said he was come to deliver the Israelites. God got the glory for doing it, not Moses. Abraham had to wait for God’s promise of a son for 25 years. He said the time was right when Abraham was 100 years old.
Exodus 3:7-8 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…
Moses attitude changed to being submissive to God and his time. In God’s time, he gets the glory. If something is done in our time, we’ll be the ones getting the glory.
Exodus 3:11-14 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token…I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. And Moses said…when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say…The God of your fathers hath sent me…they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
God chose Saul to be king of the Israelites, even though he hadn’t wanted them to have a king. Saul had 2000 in his army but was greatly outnumbered by the Philistines’ 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and so many men that they couldn’t be counted. Saul’s army hid because they were so outnumbered.
I Samuel 13:5-8 And the Philistines gathered….to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude…men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide…As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal…people followed him trembling. And he tarried seven days…that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not….and the people were scattered from him.
Saul didn’t pray about the situation when Samuel didn’t come and the army was scattered, but he tried to handle it. He offered sacrifice which was only to be done by the priests. Saul’s experience with God and he wasn’t willing to wait on God. This situation was to try Saul and see what was in his heart.
I Samuel 13:9-12 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering …as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came…said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves…Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.
Saul wasn’t honest about what he did. God will try us to see if we act according to our own thinking instead of waiting like he has told us. The enemy wants to make us fear and not wait on God like Saul did. God’s timing is always perfect, but our timing is flawed. God sees the big picture. It’s hard for us to wait so God gets the glory.
I Samuel 13:13-14 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.
Habakkuk lived during the same time as Jeremiah, Nahum, and Zephaniah around the time Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. He begins by asking why God isn’t listening to him.
Habakkuk 1:1-4 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet…O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
He was expecting God to reprove him, but God told him to wait and that the just live by faith. We want action by what we see, but God says we live by faith – not by what we see.
Habakkuk 2:1-4 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say…and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered…Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come…Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
When God told Habakkuk to wait, he rejoiced in the Lord because he knew God was his strength in whatever happened.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)