Saturday, May 14, 2011


Although it takes far more effort to read a sermon than it does to listen to one, there is a definite advantage to reading it. The English language has several words that sound alike, but their meanings are totally different. They are called homophones. Some examples are: aisle, I'll; ad, add; ail, ale; allowed, aloud; ate, eight; arc, ark; and those are just the "A's."

Yesterday, for the first time in my memory, my dear, sweet mother-in-law expressed concern about my weight and its effect upon my health. She is a wonderful lady, and was in no way attempting to say something negative; she genuinely loves me. Then, this morning, the devotion in Our Daily Bread was about Psalm 130, and the need to wait patiently upon the Lord.

That started me thinking about the difference uses of the word we pronounced "wait." One is a time of expectation, such as in Psalm 37:7, Psalm 130:5, and in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 which says, "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."

Another word that sounds the same is the word, "weight." In the Bible, there are several uses of the word. One expresses the importance of a matter, as in Matthew 23:23. A second has to do with measuring the price of something in relation to "its weight in gold" (Gen. 43:21). It also can denote the idea of a load, or a burden (Heb. 12:1).

Then there are some uses of the word, "wait," that can be understood in more than one way. A person can be looking with anticipation for someone or something to happen, or a person can be acting as a servant, such as "to wait on tables." I believe that both are true of Isaiah 40:31 which says, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint." Yes, I know that we are waiting upon the Lord to return, and the writer probably had that in mind, but I would like to suggest that the other use is also a valid interpretation of the verse.

Jesus told His disciples to follow His example when He washed their feet; He was waiting upon them as would a servant (Jn. 13:4-17). The Apostle Paul wrote: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching" (Rom. 12:6-7). When we exercise our spiritual gifts, we are waiting upon the rest of the Body of Christ. And since Jesus said that whatever we do to His brethren (Matt. 25:40), we are doing it unto Him, by serving (waiting upon) others, we are, in fact, "waiting upon the Lord."

So while we wait upon the Lord's return, let us wait upon our brethren to remove the weight of their burdens.

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