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Genesis 49:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 I wait for your salvation, O Jehovah.
IT is not easy to say precisely in what sense Jacob used these words amid his prophecies regarding the future of his sons. But they do indeed indicate that his expectation was from God alone for himself and for them. It was God’s salvation he waited for, salvation which God had promised and which God Himself alone could work out. He knew himself and his sons to be under God’s charge. Jehovah, the Everlasting God, would show in them what His saving power is and does. The words point forward to that beautiful history of redemption which is not yet finished, and to the glorious future in eternity; what is the likely future of those words. They suggest to us how there is no salvation but God’s salvation and how waiting on God for that, whether for our personal experience or in wider circles, is our first duty, our true blessedness.
CHRISTIANS: Salvation As a Work?
Let us think of ourselves, and the inconceivably glorious salvation God has wrought for us in Christ is now purposing to work out and perfect in us by His Spirit. Let us meditate until we somewhat realize that every involvement of this great salvation, from moment to moment, must be the work of God Himself. God cannot part with His grace, goodness, or strength, as an external thing, He gives us, as He gives the raindrops from heaven. No, He can only give it, and we can only enjoy it, as He works it Himself directly and unceasingly. And the only reason that He does not work it more effectually and continuously is that we do not let Him. We hinder Him either by our indifference or by our self-effort so that He cannot do what He would. What He asks of us, in the way of surrender, obedience, desire, and trust, is all comprised in this one word: waiting on Him, waiting for His salvation. It combines the deep sense of our entire helplessness of ourselves to work what is divinely good and our perfect confidence that our God will work it all in His divine power.
Why Is Salvation for Christians a Journey, a Path, Not a Condition, or State of Being?
Again, I say, let us meditate on the divine glory of the salvation God purposes working out in us until we know the truths it implies. Our heart is the scene of a divine operation more wonderful than Creation. We can do as little towards the work as towards creating the world, except as God works in us to will and to do. God only asks us to yield, consent, and wait upon Him, and He will do it all. Let us meditate and be still until we see how satisfied and right and blessed it is that God alone does all, and our soul will of itself sink down in deep humility to say: ‘I wait for your salvation, O Jehovah.’ And the deep blessed background of all our praying and working will be: ‘Truly my soul waits upon God.’
CHRISTIANS Do Not Try to Save Yourself
Applying the truth to wider circles, to those we labor among or intercede for, to the congregation of Christ around us, or throughout the world, is not difficult. There can be no good but what God works; to wait upon God and have the heart filled with faith in His working, and in that faith to pray for His mighty power to come down, is our only wisdom. Oh, for the eyes of our heart to be opened to see God working in ourselves and in others, and to see how blessed it is to worship and just to wait for His salvation!
What Does the Bible Really Say About Born-Again Christian Losing Their Salvation?
Our private and public prayer is our chief expression of our relation to God: it is in them chiefly that our waiting upon God must be exercised. If our waiting begins by quieting the activities of nature and being still before God; if it bows and seeks to see God in His universal and almighty operation, alone able and always ready to work all good; if it yields itself to Him in the assurance that He is working and will work in us; if it maintains the place of humility and stillness, and surrenders until God’s Spirit has quickened the faith that He will perfect His work: it will indeed become the strength and the joy of the soul. Life will become one deep blessed cry: ‘I wait for your salvation, O Jehovah.’
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