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When my wife and I lived in Louisville, KY our microwave one day stopped working. Money was tight so we decided not to buy another one. I am happy to announce that we survived our temporary microwave-less life and learned how much we took for granted with a microwave. For example, instead of heating up leftovers in minutes, it felt like an eternity. Microwaves are popular because we do not like waiting. But, as Christians, we will consider in this sermon that waiting is an essential part of faith because waiting tests the genuineness of our faith. In Genesis 5, we find Adam’s descendants waiting. What are they waiting for? They are awaiting the One promised in Genesis 3:15 who would crush the serpent’s head and destroy sin and death. Consider:
- Waiting is a Difficult Task. In Genesis 3:15, God promised that a descendant of Eve would crush the serpent’s head and thus put an end to sin and death. Adam, Eve, Seth and Seth’s descendants waited for this promised One during a difficult time. Genesis 6:5 describes this time by saying “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). It was very difficult for the godly to wait, but God permits trials “so that the tested genuineness of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Waiting is difficult but worthwhile.
- Waiting is a Humbling Task. If you add up the dates in Genesis 5, you learn that 1,556 years passed without the coming of the promised One. Each generation lived without seeing the fulfillment of the promise, but also lived without abandoning faith in the One who made the promise. Waiting is humbling because it is a recognition that God is in control and we are not. Waiting is humbling because it is a recognition that God is wiser than we are. Waiting is humbling because it is a recognition that God’s time is better than our time. Waiting is humbling but worthwhile.
- Waiting is a Faithful Task. Did you know that Adam and Eve were not told which Son would be the deliverer promised in Genesis 3:15? They soon discovered that it would not be Cain or Abel or Seth. In fact, Adam and Eve died before the promised deliverer came. Why would God not reveal this information to them? God had Adam and Eve (and everyone else in Genesis 5) wait because He wanted them to learn faith and to trust Him. The result of faith was the eager expectation of His arrival. Faith is demonstrated when you trust that the promise is valid even if you cannot see it yet. Consider Abraham: “no unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised” (Rom 4:20-21). Waiting is God’s means of growing your faith.
What are you waiting for? What answer do you seek from God? Yes, it is difficult to wait but are you waiting in faith? Do you believe God is in control of this situation and circumstance? Do you believe that God is working good through this (Rom 8:28)? You can have peace and joy in the midst of waiting if you have unwavering faith in Christ Jesus. Do you know Him as your Savior and Lord? If so, grow in trust. If not, come to Him and be saved and forgiven of your sin.