“Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:29-32)
These are the words of a man named Simeon who was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue His people. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. He got his wish.
The Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple the very same day that Jesus was dedicated to the Lord. How wonderful! God had fulfilled His promise to Simeon.
Simeon was overjoyed when he saw the Infant Savior. How his heart must have leapt with joy as he held Jesus in his arms and gazed down into that tiny face. He blessed Joseph and Mary. He said to Mary, “This Child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others.”
For many of us, Jesus is the greatest joy. He brought us hope, love, peace and the promise of eternal life. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, proclaimed, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited His people and redeemed them. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of His servant David, just as He promised through His holy prophets long ago” (Luke 1:68-70).
What a wonderful promise! During the Christmas season, imagine what it must have been like for Simeon to see the Lord face to face and to realize that the Lord had kept him alive for just that moment. Simeon had seen salvation. He had seen the promise of eternal life before he died. God had promised His people salvation and then He fulfilled that promise through His Son, Jesus.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry (Habbabuk 2:3).
We can trust God’s word. No matter how long it may take, in His good time, it will come to pass. God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son. It took it years and years. It took so long that Sarah decided to speed things up. She made her own plans for a child by involving her maid Hagar. Of course, things did not work out. Hagar ended up leaving and Sarah was back to square one. God again told Abraham that he would have a son but this time, He made it clear that the child would be with Sarah. And at the appointed time, God’s word came to pass and Sarah was gave birth to a son. God’s vision for Sarah tarried but it came at the right time. Sarah had a child in her old age, proving that nothing is impossible with God.
Joseph had to wait more than two years for his dreams to come to pass. During that time, he was sold to into slavery; was falsely accused of attempted rape and sent to prison. He spent two years in jail before his life changed for the better.
Simeon waited a long time to see God’s Savior and it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. One day, he received word from the Holy Spirit that the Child was in the temple. Simeon held Him in his arms and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
Jesus promised that He would return one day. He said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2, 3). We know that we can trust Him. If He says He will come back, we can be absolutely sure that He will. We don’t know when He will come. Only the Father knows but we know that just as He sent His Son here at the appointed time to save us, He will send Him at the appointed time to take us home. In His Word, He promised, “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry (Hebrews 10:37).