For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)
There lived in Jerusalem an obscure man known to be righteous and devout. He had seen much in life through his many years both good and bad. The wrinkles across his brow telling the story of a weathered pilgrimage. But he had faith in his God even as his eyes grew dim and he saw his days growing long. It was a humble faith that deep down held that God was the keeper of His promises.
The old man had been given a special promise by God that he treasured in his heart. He was always reluctant to share the promise with others because they would scoff and maybe charge him as a dreamer. No longer could he remember the day God had given him the promise, only that years had passed as he waited patiently knowing in his aged mind that the time of fulfillment had to be soon.
Then there came one early morning as he arose to pray that he sensed the spirit of the times was budding. An end and a new beginning was pulsing in the air. This was the day when old Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit to go to the Temple. As he arrived, Simeon anxiously searched for the fulfillment of his hope. His spirit quickened as he saw them across the temple court; there a young couple and a baby boy. Simeon hurried towards them, took the baby (Jesus) gently in his arms and spoke the words God had stored up in his heart all those years.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32
After the first paragraph or so, many of you may have recognized this is a dramatized account of Simeon from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22-35). The account of Simeon in the Bible, although brief, casts a long shadow into the future as the Lord reveals through him pieces of the divine plan of redemption.
Although Simeon comes on the scene out of nowhere, you sense God had been preparing him for this encounter for many years. Finally, his treasured promise from God had been realized as he held the Christ in his arms and his heart could now rest knowing the consolation of Israel was at hand.
But the preeminent promise of God to all of mankind was dawning at the same time. A promise that was spoken through the prophets of old that they too longed to see with their eyes but could only hold by faith. Yet that day, Simeon’s eyes rested upon that very promise, the mystery of God (Colossians 2:2), the Messiah.
Simeon lived on the cusp of a time of spiritual transition. The revelation of God and His interaction with mankind was about to abruptly and powerfully change. The age of grace was at its inception when condemnation would be crushed and the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus would make men free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-3) for all who would trust His atoning work.
Today we too live on the edge of such a time when God is about to usher in an ending and a new beginning. A new advent is on the horizon breaking forth with latent prophecies of old that are about to be fulfilled. The Spirit of God is whispering that the fullness of the ages is ready to reveal its next mysteries and the ripeness of the times is waiting to send forth its fruit.
Like Simeon, we patiently wait and yearn as the promise of the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ draws near (Titus 2:11-14).