Wait on the Lord

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“Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” (Psalm 37:34)

In spite of the occasional successes of the wicked, we are to “wait on the LORD.” The Hebrew word used in this passage for “wait” is unusual. The term quvah describes the “binding together” of strings to make a cord. The same word was used to “collect” the water and dry land into separate areas on the third day of creation.

It carries the idea of anticipation toward useful results and does not mean to “hang around and wait.” It does not imply useless boredom, waiting for something to happen. The essence of the term is to be alert, watching the events and activities of the Lord and reacting to His timing and direction. Indeed, the word is translated “look” as often as any other term.

The great promise of “eagle’s wings” recorded by Isaiah tells us that the source of our victory comes from the Lord alone: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

That great promise, which is a comfort to so many, is based on the fact that the “Creator of the ends of the earth” is the One making the promise (Isaiah 40:28).

As Psalm 37 comes to a close, the summary contains both instructions and blessings: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But . . . the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psalm 37:37-40). HMM III