THOSE IN WAITING
CORDS OF THE LORD
"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).
Lend your ear to the Spirit and you will hear a murmur coming from the din of impatience: "Wait, you say? What do you think we have been doing all our lives? All we know how to do anymore is to wait!" They continue with, "The glory is long gone. It left with everything else that we had held so dear. Ichabod has been inscribed over our doors, and there is nothing more we can do but to wait -- and what good does it do? Where are the blessings? Where is the promise of His coming? All things continue as they were from the beginning!" Their closing words are in utter frustration, "We can see nothing developing but a deferred hope, and our hearts have been made sick."
All too often people find themselves in this impatient rut of waiting, and it is common for them to wonder where the promises of God are. Some even begin to doubt that they will ever come.
We do not question the fact that they have been waiting, and some have seemingly been in waiting for many, many years. We do, however, question the type of waiting they have been involved in. Most have probably been waiting in the manner that this English word implies: "To be in expectation; as, to wait for sunrise. To remain in readiness for some action...." (Webster's Dict.); in other words, to just simply sit back in an easy chair and wait for something to happen whether they have any part in it or not.
This type of waiting is valid and not to be discontinued where it is merited; for there are things that God has set into motion which will only come to pass in their due seasons. Men cannot hurry them along nor can they prevent their arrival. They must with patience wait for them. Such things will get here regardless of what people do or don't do. This, however, is not the primary focus of our study today. There are two commonly used Hebrew words in the scriptures for wait that sheds a little more light than what our English suggests.
The word in our text verse comes from the Hebrew word qavah which means "To bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect" (Strong's). It is the binding together that we want to first take note of, especially with the indication that it is a binding as a result of twisting (Genesius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament's first word for its meaning is "to twist"). It is akin to chabal (meaning to twist) from which "cord" is translated. It is in this thought, of a cord or a rope, that wait speaks of in the above verse (Isa. 40:31). Genesius also says that qavah means "to be strong, robust (for the notion of binding fast, tying fast, is applied to strength...i.e. ropes...."
We have all been, and some still are, like individual strands of a fiber, dangling freely, and of very little use in God's kingdom, and will remain so until becoming one with Him. Before we wait upon Him, i.e. until we are bound together with Him, we will be void of any quality strength, we will be unable to ascend like the eagles, we cannot run without becoming weary, nor can we walk any distance at all without fainting.
We may have been waiting for many trying years for God to do something in our lives, hoping to be liberated from the bondage of flesh and the world. The truth of the matter is, brethren, we could wait until the dusty blanket of earth is laid over our faces and skin worms devour our mortal bodies, and we would still remain void of the majesty of Christ Jesus. Simply waiting for it to happen will not produce the overcoming union with Christ that the creation is waiting to see in the Sons of God, that glorious appearing Paul spoke of in Romans 8:19-21. If, however, we are Those In Waiting, if we are Expecting, it is a different story.
To be in waiting does not speak of sitting back in our easy chairs with our feet kicked up while twiddling our thumbs. The English term, to be in waiting, is fairly descriptive and can be use two ways: Not too many years ago when a woman was in waiting meant that she was engaged to a man and was in preparation to be married. Today it relates more to a woman who is pregnant. Both ways relate to the prelude before a manifested union. The first is being prepared to be united in marriage and becoming one flesh in their marital relationship; the second is the result of their union, and the husband and wife becoming one flesh in their child. In the spiritual sense, "He that is joined unto the Lord IS ONE SPIRIT (I Cor. 6:17).
One of the ancient customs of the middle eastern nations, including Israel, is symbolic of forming a union and is worthy to note. To finalize the wedding ceremony, the man would place a three strand, silver cord over the head of his bride. The silver, of course, speaks of redemption, and the three strands of the cord signified God, the man, and the woman. Like the cord, in order for it to be of any practical value, neither of the three could be independent but had to be united with the others by being twisted together -- FORMING ONE CORD under severe pressure. This was the signification of the cord in the ceremony.
In a measure, Solomon spoke of this in Ecclesiastes. He begins his thought with the importance of having two of various things, but he concluded it with THREE, typifying COMPLETENESS. He wrote: "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow...Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN." (Eccl. 4:9-12).
When forming a three strand cord that is not quickly broken, there is more to it than what may meet the eye. The first step is to select the same kind and quality of fiber. If different fibers are used, the rope will not have the necessary strength and uniform elasticity to do the job it is designed for -- and it is the same with the spiritual cord of marriage. The man can be born from above and be of identical Spirit as that of the Lord. He may know all there is to know about his heavenly calling, and the revelations he possesses may astound the learned scholars; but if he marries a woman of a different fiber, or she does not share the same vision -- their three fold cold may quickly be broken when the inevitable pressures of life come. It doesn't matter how much they may love one another, the reality is, that rope will snap when it begins to pull the heavy load of life.
Once the Master craftsman has selected His fibers (hopefully it has been His selection and not our own), He will then immerse them in water until they are pliable. The first few months of most marriages are thusly soaked in the water of affection. There is often an abundance of love and the good things of life, and a few will think that they have died and gone to heaven. But one thing they may not have counted on is the twisting that will unite them.
Just like the rope maker, God will firmly place His strong right hand on one end of the rope, and in a viselike grip He will begin to twist the strands in the direction of righteousness. This would not be painful at all, that is, if pressure was not being applied from the other end, and in the opposite direction. You see, in order for the twisting to work, the left hand of the adversary must oppose the Spirit. The circumstances of life that are so tremendously adverse to our comfort and well being are part of the left hand of twisting. The adverse desires, goals, imaginations, lusts of the flesh, or any carnal thing that opposes God will consist of that evil hand.
Our lives, like the strands of a rope, are first soaked in cool, refreshing water. Once we have been made soft and pliable the tranquility comes to an end. We are then jolted to the adverse realities of life as we are subjected to tremendous pressures. On one end of the rope of our lives, the right hand of God takes a firm grip and begins His twisting in the positive direction of holiness, while the left hand of adversity on the other end twists in the opposite direction, toward the negative desires of our lustful flesh and carnal reasoning. There are many other types of pressures that we will not notice; suffice it to say, during the time of our waiting upon the Lord, we may wonder what is happening, for it will seem as if our very life is being wrung out, and it is, but it is necessary for a season.
This, however, is not the end of the process, for once everything that we had cherished so dearly is pressed from us, like the rope, we are then laid upon a hard Rock in order for the burning rays of the Sun to dry us even more. We remain there, and still under pressure, until it is thoroughly dry. Once the rope is parched and seemingly void of life, the pressures of the right and left hands can be removed, for the rope will then hold its form. All THREE STRANDS, the Spirit, the soul, and the body, have been formed into ONE CORD which is not quickly broken. The Master can now use it for the purpose it was designed, and He will have no concern of it breaking or any of the strands unraveling and becoming independent of one another.
When it is used in the Kingdom, when it is subjected to heavy loads, we will find that these adversities only cause each strand to draw closer together -- strengthening one other. The purpose it was designed for soon becomes evident, and we rejoice! We then not only know that we can, but we begin to mount up with wings as eagles, we run the race and never grow weary, and we walk the straight and narrowing way without fainting! Praise God for all those who WAIT! They shall be joint heirs with Christ Jesus -- the earth shall be theirs and the substance thereof, the world and they that dwell therein!
This type of WAITING, UNITING, BINDING, EXPECTING is used throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms: "Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I WAIT all the day" (Ps. 25:5). "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT on Thee" (Ps. 25:21). "WAIT on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: WAIT, I say, on the Lord" (Ps. 27:14). "Rest in the Lord, and WAIT patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7). "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that WAIT upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth" (Ps. 37:9). "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" (Ps. 37:34). "The Lord is good unto them that WAIT for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him" (Lam. 3:25). And once again, Isa. 40:31, "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."
Many well meaning, but erring, saints of God have been "waiting" a long time for the Lord to do something, but to very little avail, and they wonder why. The truth of matter is, they have yet to WAIT! Brethren, if we are ever to be truly strengthened in heart, to find our rest in Him, to inherit the earth, to receive the good blessing of God, to come forth with strength, to mount up with wings of eagles, to run and not grow weary, and to walk and not faint -- then we must WAIT! We must be united with Him. We must be bound together with Him. We must be joined to Him so tightly that we become ONE SPIRIT, from whence the Sons of God are born; even as when a man is joined to his wife and they become one flesh. Indeed, this holy union with our Lord, our Master, our Husband, will result in the manifestation of His very substance. From the womb of our souls shall the Son come forth and be seen by all in our actions and character. Our every word, our every deed, and our every step will be that of Christ. It will not be that of the old creation, but it will be a revelation of the new -- an unveiling of majesty that was formerly conceived and developing while IN WAITING, while being JOINED TO OUR LORD OF GLORY and becoming ONE SPIRIT!
The Holy union of the marital relationship that takes place in the Holy of Holies (in the bed chambers if you please) is one way of being joined -- a joyous union that surpasses all other realms of being united. Nevertheless, regardless of this high relationship, there is always a contrasting counterbalance. It is one of the laws of the universe. The following are some examples of the law of Contrasting Counterbalances: light & darkness, joy & sadness, laughter & crying, life & death, fast & slow, up & down, straight & crooked, narrow & broad, hot & cold, good & evil, love & hate, and the right & left hand of twisting (waiting upon the Lord). Without the contrasting negatives, we could never truly know and appreciate the expanse of the positives, not to mention coming to our full potential in Christ. With the small amount of understanding we have of this Hebrew word to wait (qavah), let us now enhance the meaning of the verse as we look once again at Isaiah 40:31:
"THOSE IN WAITING -- THEY WHO ARE GATHERED TOGETHER AND BOUND TIGHTLY TO THE LORD -- they shall pass over and exchange their strength and their power for His; they shall then lift their wings and mount up to the Sun as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Strong's, Young's Lit. Trans. & Amplified Bible).
As glorious as the end result is, the waiting, this binding together unto the Lord, or even unto our spouses, does not always come easy. The stark reality of it is, dear friends, there is usually pain in WAITING! Whether we are WAITING IN NATURAL MARRIAGE, after the honeymoon is over, or we are WAITING UPON THE LORD, being UNITED TO CHRIST in Spiritual marriage -- the process will almost always become awesomely severe! The young or inexperienced who are contemplating marriage will not believe such a report, nor will those who have not been united to the Lord in marriage. Nevertheless, this will not stop it, they can count on it eventually becoming a very real part of their lives!
There have been countless saints over the past thirty or forty years who have been waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God, the manifestation that Paul spoke of in Romans 8:19-21. The doctrine has been taught in every way conceivable. To some it has been an icon to them, assuming that believing the doctrine is enough to count them worthy to be numbered in the manifestation. In reality it has become nothing more than a modified "Rapture" teaching. The only difference is -- they don't fly. In essence, they are just sitting back and waiting for, not The Great Escape, but for The Great Manifestation. Some have become so tired of waiting that in their impatience they have thrown it all aside and gone back to Egypt. And in ignorance, coupled with impatience, others are claiming everything is already here, that all we have to do is believe it is so -- just another modified teaching. This one is akin to the Name It and Claim It, Faith teaching, the mentality of trying to believe something in their own strength, while it can only be obtained through a processing of the Lord.
Regardless of what people are believing, right or wrong, the predominant thing is, too many have been intellectually majoring in the teachings of Sonship but failing in what it takes to produce the fruit of the teachings -- to be specific -- MARRIAGE! Before the Sons come forth there has to be a marriage.
This common delusion that all it takes is to believe in the doctrine of Sonship, will never manifest God's substance some miraculous day. This is not what will prompt God to transform those frozen four and no more into glorified Sons to reign supremely with Christ in His Kingdom. Believing in Sonship is admirable, as it is with any true teaching of the Bible, but believing alone will never produce the substance of its reality. Believing is merely the first step, not the final outcome.
We can see the perfect type in bringing forth a natural, legitimate son in the world. An honorable man with godly principles would never think of having a marital relationship with his espoused bride prior to getting married. And as much as the godly woman might desire a son from the one she loves, and believes beyond a shadow of doubt that a son will be born, she would never give herself to the man until it is the proper season. Although both the man and the woman have the substance of faith and know that they will have a son together, they also know that it will not be until sometime after they are MARRIED. As strong as their belief is, a son will not make himself known until the proper action is applied in the proper season by his parents.
It appears that the position most Christians have taken is not a marriage with Christ, but only to an espousal; they have only come to an engagement to the Lord. During the engagement the bride makes herself ready, and this is what most have been hopefully doing -- making themselves ready. Some of the others are already married, and the wonderful honeymoon of first-love is presently their portion. While with a few -- the honeymoon is over and the waiting, the uniting, the twisting is what they are experiencing. They are "IN WAITING" they are "EXPECTING!"
Rather than the three-fold silver cord being placed over our heads in a symbolic gesture, we now find that we in fact are the very fibers that make up that cord, and we are being shaped as life's substance is squeezed from us and being formed into CORDS OF THE LORD. One strand is Christ our Lord (God), one is our spirit (the man), and the remaining one our soul (the woman); and let us be reminded that the woman (i.e. our souls) shall be delivered in this painful childbearing (I Tim. 2:14-15). Out of this union will be birthed the Son of God to be manifested in our bodies -- not a physical baby but an outward manifestation of genuine love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and anything else that characterizes the nature of God. It is out of this birth, from WAITING UPON THE LORD, being united in marriage, being twisted together beyond measure, that the EXPRESSION OF HIS SUBSTANCE comes (Heb. 1:3).
Therefore, Brethren, let us patiently endure the WAITING....
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
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