I tried to use simpler tenses to drive home the point rather than using the original version of “Though it tarries, wait for it, it will not tarry.
There is one of the Yoruba proverbs that say “There is no time one sews a dress and won’t find an occasion to wear it to”.
That proverb will arise when one is getting perplexed about having something before a particular occasion. The proverb says that one’s priority is to be patient and have the something first; once you have it, there will certainly be another occasion to use it.
Eccl 3:1 – To everything, there is a season. To every purpose, there is a time.
For every occurrence under heaven, God has put their seasons in place. They run according to a set pattern, so that their cycle and timings cannot fail (Earth rotation, earth revolution, gestation periods, etc.).
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
For every purpose of God under heaven, there is also a stipulated time. This is what we call appointed time, set time or fullness of time.
For example, in Gen 3:15, God declared that the war of supremacy between the Serpent (Devil) and Man was not over. That while the Serpent will bruise the heel of the Seed of the Woman; the Seed of the Woman in turn will still crush his head.
Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The set time for that prophecy was to be about 4,000 years later.
Galatians 4:4 – But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Likewise, also the purpose(s) of God upon the life of an individual has set times, or appointed times in which they must occur.
I have come to understand that in the life of we humans, there are three kinds of time: Desired Time; Appointed Time & Occurrence Time.
The destiny of Moses could be used as an example. God already told Abram that his descendant would serve a foreign nation for 400 years, after which He would bring them out with great riches (Gen. 15:13-14).
Moses was born 50 years to the end of those 400 years of servitude. When He was 40 years, his Desired Time to free Israel came (come of age, spies), but alas it was short of 10 years of the set time. Moses ran away for the next 40 years, pushing the Occurrence Time 30 years beyond the Set Time (Ex. 7:7; 12:40-41).
Sometimes these three times collide and happened at once, then one may say “I said it or I knew it”. However, it is not because you said it, or knew it; it is because God allowed it.
E.g. “Someone may say I must be a graduate at 21…” Some of us that didn’t graduate at 21, it wasn’t because we were dull; the three times did not just collide at that point.
Sometimes, the Desired Time and the Appointed Time are at conflict. One will need to exercise patience at such times, for if care is not taken, excessive Desired Time can nullify the Appointed Time; so that there may not be an Occurrence Time (Gehazi; Achan; Judas).
Eccles 8:6 – Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.
Because there is an appointed time for things to be done by God, and Man has his own desired time, frustration and anxiety may set in when desired time has elapsed or elapsing; whereas the appointed time has not come.
Our God is however merciful, He can still overlook our errors, if we make amends and bring another opportunity for a further Appointed Time (Abraham – Isaac).
Habakkuk 2:2-3 – And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
This is an answer God gave Habakkuk as he questions God’s judgement of good and evil. His complaint was in chapter 1:1-4. He became frustrated the more as God even kept quiet regarding his complain and murmuring.
Habakkuk 1:1-4 – The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
It was when he became sober and exercise patience in chapter 2:1, that God began to explain to him.
Habakkuk 2:1 – I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
God told him that there is an appointed time for everything. Because a wicked man prospers does not mean is upright. Judgement may tarries, we must wait for it, as it will surely come, and it will not be late. But the just shall live by their faith.
– You are here, there is a particular burden in your heart; you have cried to God about it, and it appears He has not heard, something you know God is not supposed to be allowing or tolerate, yet it appears that God has refused to save.
Know that there is an appointed time for that vision. For the vision to speak and not lie, you must wait for it. It may delay, but please wait. It will surely come to pass.
The departure of trains from station. 12:15 Train to London Kings Cross. You may get to the platform for 11:45 and the train is there. It’s not going yet. You can’t even enter yet.
The bible makes us to understand that God loved Naaman the Syrian, (Jesus) an appointed method and time was set to heal him of his leprosy. He finally made it to Elisha’s house and was asked to go and dip himself in Jordan River seven times and his healing would occur.
Unfortunately, that was not the desired method and timing for Naaman. He thought Elisha would come out, laid hands on him and the leprosy would disappear. Even though this is what God can do, but that was not the specified appointed format from heaven for him.
Thank God for his servants who kept urging him to comply, so that he was able to complete his requirements for his appointed time to occur.
– There is someone here; an advice has been given to you by a godly person regarding something in particular you desire. You are still reluctant to take the advice, even though your heart tells you its right. I have been asked to tell you to heed to the advice before your appointed time becomes lengthened.
– There is another person, you have made few attempts at something and you have given up. Run with the vision again. You are close to the set time than when you began.
One of the most painful things to bear for man is waiting time. We don’t want to wait long; some people don’t even want to wait at all.
– My experience at the Bank on Wednesday. Thank God I wasn’t late.
We always want the quickest ways of getting things done: quick Pando, instant noodles, 2 mins oats, microwave meals, etc. We feed ourselves with chemicals just because we want to save time. Often, such time saved comes at an expense to one’s health.
Our God hates impatience. Neither does He wants us to be impatient; because He Himself is a patient Being, though He has the power to do and undo anything at any given time.
Ezekiel 18:23 – Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Matthew 13:24-30 – Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
God made a statement that is hard to swallow about a set of twin brothers. Esau have I hated, Jacob have I loved, even when they were yet to be born! This was borne out of the fact that Esau was a profane person (he treated a sacred opportunity with abuse and disdain); this was due to his impatient character. He thought he would die before his meal would be ready. What a loss he suffered!
You are here, something that can be likened to your ‘meal’ is still in preparation and you are already removing the cover to ‘eat’, take it easy, be patient. A meat that is half done is dangerous to health, it disturbs the system. You will not be disturbed in Jesus name.
One of the ways whereby God tests our faith is through patience in waiting. Temptations test our obedience; trials of patience test our faith and trust in God. Such that we cannot claim we are just, if our faith collapse through impatience.
Joseph was shown by God that he would be a leader in the future. He was tempted by Potiphar’s wife; he had to wait 13 years for his appointed time, though it tarried, it wasn’t late.
David was anointed as a replacement king for Saul over Israel. He was tempted to kill Saul; he had to wait 13 years to reign over Judah and another 7 years to reign over the whole of Israel. It took time, but it wasn’t late.
Abraham was chosen by God to start a godly race. He travelled thousands of miles through the desert to live as a sojourner in a land that he was promised. He was tempted by his wife; he had to wait 25 years for the promised child. The promise tarried, yet it came to pass.
Moses was born to be a deliverer of the children of Israel; he was tempted by his passion and he had to wait 40 years for his appointed time to come again. It was a long wait, the promise came to pass.
If waiting time is not handled properly, it can lead to something bad. It can degenerate to:
– Anxiety/Worry – the Israelites at Red Sea, if Moses did not say “Wait & see…” They would have drowned.
– Doubt/Unbelief – Abram, almost derailed the plan of God for his life twice, with Abimelech king of Gerar and Hagar the housemaid.
– Fear – Saul making sacrifice, Elijah escaping from Jezebel.
As humans, we are very time conscious, even though we can’t make everything happen the time we want them. God however is not just timely but also timeless. He does things on time; yet He is not bound by time.
What we can only do is in Psalms 37:5 – Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
As this year draws to a close today; is there anything God has promised you that is yet to happen? Write the vision down. Make it plain in bold letters. Run with it. Though it delays, wait for it, it shall surely come to pass, it will not be late.
May you eventually testify of that vision in Jesus name. Amen!
1. Father, do not allow any of the vision you have shown me to die. Let them speak.
2. Father, help me to wait for the manifestation of the visions you have shown me.
3. Father, do not pass the vision you have for me to another.
4. Father keep me alive to see all the visions you have for me to come to pass.
The sermon, Though It Takes Time, Wait For It, It Will Not Be Late, Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on December 31, 2017.