Waiting Patiently

When long becomes too long

qâvâh to wait, look for, hope, expect, to collect, bind together

“Waiting I have waited on Yehovah; and He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psa 40:1 LITV

Waiting I have waited is a construct in Hebrew that expresses a certainty of the action. It is in places like Genesis 2:16 “from every tree of the garden eating you may eat…” and in the following verse “in day of your eating from it dying you will die.”

This gets missed in other translations that translate the first verb as “patiently” such as the ESV: “I waited patiently for the LORD. . .”

Let’s go to the meaning of “collecting, binding together”.

It is easy for me to begin to think, if I have been waiting a long time, that perhaps my own “pit” (v. 2) is not something he will bring me up out of. Maybe my pit is just too twisted up with me, maybe it is too deep, or maybe God really doesn’t care about this mess I am in.

What if I am the one who made the mess? Does he ever say, “You made your bed, now go lie in it!”?

In Luke 15:11 – 32 we find a parable taught by Yeshua about the two sons. One was obedient and remained at home, helping his father. The other left with an early inheritance and went and spent it all in “reckless living.”

When the son who left ended up working on a pig farm with nothing to eat he decided to “go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’” (v. 18-19)

What stands out in this parable is verse 20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

The only way his father could see him while he was a long way off would be if he was also waiting, and waiting for his son to return to him.

That is the idea of qâvâh.

While in our waiting while we have waited, we are not waiting alone.

Our Father is not waiting for us, he is waiting with us.

He was aware of his son in the far country, he was aware of what he was doing in the far country spending his inheritance, he was aware of him feeding the pigs and wanting to eat what he was feeding them. And he also saw him when he “came to himself” or in some translations, “when he came to his senses” and decided to return to his father.

And then his father saw him coming home.

“But he yet being far away, his father saw him and was moved with pity. And running, he fell on his neck and fervently kissed him.” (v. 20 LITV) The verb for kiss means to kiss over and over, again and agin, to kiss much.

This wasn’t a passionless reaction like, “About time you came home, what do you want now?” kind of response.

This was a Psalm 23 kind of response. Verse 6 typically gets translated like this. “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of Yehovah for as long as my days.”

The word translated follow is râdaph which means to to be behind, follow after, pursue, persecute, run after, chase, dog, attend closely upon.

David uses this word frequently when speaking of his enemies.

Psalm 7 begins “O Yehovah my God, I seek refuge in You; save me from all who pursue (râdaph) me, and deliver me. . .” and again in Psa 142:6 where he cries out “deliver me from those who (râdaph) me.”

While you are in your very own personal pit of misery, destruction, the mess that has been made for you or made by you, you are not alone. Your heavenly Father is in there with you, being bound together with you, and you two are waiting together.

But while the two of you are being collected and bound together in the waiting, his goodness and mercy are actively pursuing you like being chased by a hound.

Perhaps this is a part of why C.S. Lewis referred to the holy spirit as “the hound of heaven.”

And when your waiting is over, your Father Creator God will say, “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.” (Luke 15:22)

Rather than lost, like the son who left, you may be found the whole time you are waiting, but the result is the same. “Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD, (v. 3) and the waiting together will have been worth it all.

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