22Simeon–Waiting for the Consolation of Israel
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.” 33 And Joseph and His mother[a] marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Simeon, another character in the Christmas narrative often overlooked and yet vital to the keeping of all the prophecy and man’s recognition of Messiah come to earth. Simeon shares with Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, her Son’s destiny and catches a glimpse of all her soul will endure for accepting the call of God on her life. Simeon, the name Simeon means obedient; listening; little hyena. A hyena is an effective hunter and Simeon has been on the prowl to find Messiah, ever watchful, ever attentive, always obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit given to him because he was “just and devout.”
So often, as people approach the “golden years” they feel washed up, put on the shelf, or no longer needed to serve: In an age related forced timeout. Simeon proves nothing could be further from the truth. In America, elders once held in high esteem are now “put out to pasture” to make way for the less experienced, younger crowd. This is partly our own fault as we bought into the American dream of early retirement and then we find we do not really have the financial resources to do all the things we envisioned during retirement. Simeon, continued to serve. He paid attention to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and because of this, it placed him in a position to witness all the Lord had promised him he would see.
As moms, sisters, aunts, daughters, cousins, and friends, we have those we want to see come to know the LORD. We have bloodied our knees in prayer pleading for the salvation of our loved ones. I wonder though, are we positioning ourselves to be able to witness our prayers being answered by continuing to serve others while we wait on God’s perfect timing? Or have we checked out because God did not meet our expectations. Expectations truly do destroy relationships.
Simeon had a word for the young parents of Jesus. Words that had power of life. Mary took these words and “pondered them in her heart.” He revealed to her all Jesus would do in thirty three words–the length of his life in years! All these short sentences put together in Mary’s head and heart to be retold and documented later for you and me to read and ponder today.
Simeon is an elderly man, serving in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph with Jesus have made the five mile journey from Bethlehem to Jerusalem when Jesus is eight days old for the purpose of His circumcision. (Luke 2:21-23) Proof He is Jewish. (Genesis 17:9-14) Sacrifices are purchased and made on behalf of Jesus as required by the law. (Luke 2:22-24) Lives intersecting at the perfect moment in time and God’s Word is fulfilled to an old man. Was serving all those years, continually showing up day after day, worth the wait? Simeon’s response upon seeing Jesus shouts a resounding “YES!” Simeon, like the baby John in the womb, the shepherds, the wise men, and the angels, knew he had beheld the Messiah: Israel’s consolation. Israel’s redemption. The Light to the Gentiles.
Simeon says to all “over the hiller’s,” “God is not finished with me yet!” The best is yet to come. The Father saves the best for last. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)
Are you having trouble waiting on the LORD to answer your prayers? Meditate on these Words:
I see from God’s Word and Simeon’s story IT WILL BE WORTH THE WAIT! Have you noticed how many older people our God used in weaving together the birth of His precious Son? He knew who would appreciate the trust! He really does plan ALL our days! (Proverbs 19:21)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Wait on the Lord, by Donnie McClurkin
Focus on the lyrics and receive a blessing.