My Soul, Wait Thou Only Upon God

I thought I had the idea for the theme for this quarter. But when I began to write, there was nothing. So I waited. And prayed. And waited some more. Just when I was feeling quite desperate, the Spirit awakened me one morning with a song, “…Watching and waiting, looking above…” and one scripture after another that spoke of waiting upon God.

The realization hit me that we are all in a time of waiting. Waiting for His second coming. Waiting for answers to prayer. Waiting and watching for souls to be saved. Enduring afflictions. Seeking for direction and guidance. Looking for grace, wisdom and revelation. Hoping, trusting—waiting.

While we are in God’s waiting room, let us take courage and be inspired by the many admonitions and promises from His Word. “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19).

APRIL 5, 2020


Vigilant Hope

Genesis 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.

Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

Zephaniah 3:8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

MEMORY VERSE: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. —Malachi 3:1

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel and Savior of mankind was promised to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, and foretold by other Old Testament patriarchs, kings and prophets; consequently, a recurring theme of waiting on the coming of the Messiah can be noted in the writings of the Old Testament. The New Testament describes those in Jesus’ day who, because they were also “waiting,” were able, by Holy Spirit revelation, to identify Him when they saw Him.


Genesis 49:18 “I have waited for thy salvation”: an interjection of prayer and praise in the middle of Jacob’s last message to his sons. “To [the Messiah] all the Targums apply the words, which are to this purpose: ‘said our father Jacob, not for the salvation of Gideon, the son of Joash, which is a temporal salvation, do I wait; nor for the salvation of Samson the son of Manoah, which is a transitory salvation; but for the salvation of Messiah the son of David, (which is an everlasting one) who shall bring the children of Israel to himself, and his salvation my soul desireth’’’ (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible). Also, “…The thought of the serpent wounding his prey in the heel [Genesis 49:17] carried the mind of the patriarch back to the fall of man, and the promise made to Eve…” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).


In past lessons we have studied the prophecies about Jesus and can recall the promise given by God after Adam and Eve sinned, that the serpent which had beguiled Eve was cursed and his head would be bruised by Eve’s seed, which is Christ. In our lesson today we have quoted a few verses from the Old Testament establishing a line of thought tracing back to that original prophecy. Through the ages, patriarchs and persons of faith constantly pointed toward, sought for, and adjusted their whole lifestyles around the belief in the coming Messiah. Three of our verses are from Isaiah, “the Gospel Prophet.” Many of his prophecies had to do with the deliverance of Israel from the Babylonian captivity, but ultimately they pointed to Christ and His kingdom.

Zephaniah and Malachi both add triumphant assurances to the coming and mission of the Messiah. “Wait ye upon me, until the day I rise up!” “Behold, he shall come!”

In the Gospel of Luke we find the touching story of Simeon who “waited for the consolation of Israel,” along with the prophetess Anna who “spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38);” and Joseph of Arimathaea, a just man, “who also himself waited for the kingdom of God” (Luke 23:51). Zacharias, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Mary joined the company of those who watched and waited and believed; and the wise men from the East were also “seekers” of that long-awaited event.

“Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel; And ransom captive Israel

Who mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel!”

“Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;

Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Who is the speaker in Genesis 49:18, and to what prophecy may he have referred?
  2. How did Simeon experience the fulfillment of the prophecy given in Isaiah 25:9?
  3. What positive words did Malachi use referring to the Messiah?
  4. Zephaniah’s prophecy to those who waited spoke of a day when He would assemble the nations and devour the earth with the fire of His jealousy. In Isaiah 40:2 a warfare and double recompense is mentioned. What is meant by these things, and would these two prophecies be speaking about the same mission of the Messiah?


It is significant that those who waited with expectancy and faith at the time of Jesus’ coming—those who were seekers—were able to recognize the One for whom they waited! There was also a waiting, obviously, that wasn’t of faith, but mere orthodoxy, mere tradition, that blinded its adherents to the event when it happened. We mentioned Simeon’s faith-turned-into-sight in the reading today, but there were others. The shepherds on the Judean hillside; Nathanael under the fig tree. He identified the Messiah right away! And while Jesus’ “own” did not receive him, there were foreigners who had faith: the Roman centurion, the Syro-Phoenician woman, and later, Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch.

Again, the point can be made that those who identified Him were diligent seekers. If there was a germ of information, they followed a slim lead until they discovered more. They adjusted their lifestyles around their focus. They were passionate; they were deliberate.

Would you or I have been among those who knew Him? Would we have been ready in our hearts to receive Him or would we have rejected Him? How is it with His truth today? Do I have preconceived expectations or ideas that render me incapable of saving faith or reliance on His promises? Do I have a vision of His church, His spiritual body on the earth? Can I perceive holiness—where it is, and where it is not? Am I able to see His hand working and discern His miracles when they happen?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


My first year in college was a defining time for me. I was no longer under the supervision of my parents. It was the first time I could choose to go to church or not. I had the freedom to choose my own spiritual destiny and I was enjoying it.

I knew that I wanted to be “saved” but wasn’t quite convinced that I wanted to be a “saint”, as defined by the church and by scripture. I saw the perks of mainstream Christianity and it appealed to me. I gravitated in that direction until I was halted by the mercy of God.

One night He spoke very clearly to me: “Break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns.” I wept as He spoke my language on a level that I understood. I was not in church. There was no preacher. I was alone in a dorm room.

But I “saw” the Lord that night. I was able to clearly identify Him. It is what I had been waiting for but hadn’t realized it until then. I wanted to see Him for myself. I wanted to know Him for myself, not just through the eyes of my parents or the preachers. I wanted to see Him for me!

It was a transformative experience. I saw that He had patiently waited for me. I saw that at various times He had approached me, and I had missed Him or simply dismissed Him.

Christ makes a clear and distinct appeal to us all. He introduces Himself in a manner where there is no chance for mistaken identity. What we do after that is our choice. Do we wait for a more convenient time? Do we justify our unbelief? Or do we with honesty of heart, seize the opportunity?

Christ is coming again, despite the scoffers and the naysayers! His final appearance is on the horizon. All signs point to it. Will you be ready? Will you be waiting with glad anticipation?

“Surely I come quickly.”

—Bro. Darrell Johnson