Luke 2: 22-25
When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’, and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons’.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
Psalm 130: 5-6
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
In Luke 2 we encounter Simeon, an upright, Godly man, who, according to Jewish tradition, was 113 years old. We are told that Simeon "..was waiting for the consolation of Israel..."
Over hundreds of years, prophets such as Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekiel had spoken of a coming deliverer, one who would liberate God's people from oppression and the domination of other nations. As the people read their words, there was great anticipation, longing and excitement. They prayed and waited expectantly. However, following the proclamations of the prophet Malachi, God went silent. We turn over one page in our Bibles from the Old to the New Testament without realising that this one page represents over 400 years when there were no prophets, no angels, no divine communication. Heaven was silent.
During this period, Israel's hope for the Messiah began to fade. People went through the religious motions but many gave up expecting God to intervene. Not Simeon however. Here's how different translations put it:
“He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel…”
“…he waited eagerly for God…”
“He was…. living in expectation of the salvation of Israel…”
“He was…constantly expecting the Messiah to come soon.”
The Greek literally means: He was “waiting forwardly”. In other words, Simeon was leaning into God’s promise. He pressed into what God had said. He was fully convinced that Yahweh would keep His Word. He lived with a constant sense of expectation.
That's something of what Psalm 130 is also communicating when the psalmist says: "I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning..." As much as you can be absolutely certain that morning will follow the night, so we can have the same complete expectation and total assurance that God will keep every one of His promises. It's beyond comprehension to think otherwise.
God wants His people to live expectantly, with anticipation of His goodness and assurance of His faithfulness. Even when we have been waiting for a long time and nothing seems to be happening, when it seems like Heaven is silent, like Simeon, we lean into His Word, we press into His promises, we remember His character. If He said it, He will do it. He is able.