“for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
For many years I somehow thought that Simeon was a priest who worked at the temple, but it turns out that he was just a regular old man whose faith in God caused him to be called righteous and devout. Simeon held tight to the promises of God, specifically the promise that one would come to rescue and redeem. This coming Deliverer is what his hopes were fixed on. God gave Simeon a great gift by telling him that though he was old he would not see death until he had first seen the Christ with his own eyes. What great kindness from God! God, in his providence, orchestrated things so that on the day that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to be dedicated Simeon was there as well, and the minute he saw the child he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the child is the One. He takes the child and, holding him close, praises God for his goodness and for the work that Jesus was going to do. Boy, I wish that I would react to God and to his word in this way. God speaks to you and me in a way just as real and life-changing as he did to Simeon. He speaks truth to us, and makes promises to us. Do we believe the promises of God? Do we even know them?
Here are some of God’s promises to us.
He has promised to give rest to the weary mom (Matt. 11:28-30)! He has promised the lonely wife that he will always be with her ( Joshua 1:9, Matt. 28:20)! He has promised the woman who wants to grow in wisdom that he will bring about her sanctification through his word (1 Thess. 5:23-24, John 17:15-17)! For those who are going through or will go through difficult times–whether it lasts a season, a week, or a day–God has promised that everything he allows into our lives is for our good and for our betterment (Romans 8)!
We are promised that our salvation is secure, that we cannot be snatched out of the hand of God (Jn. 10:29 ) and Jesus promises to intercede for us (Rom. 8:34). Our redeemer prayers for us !! You can be sure that those prayers will be heard!
We may not hold the child with our hands, but we can hold the very promises of God in our hearts, and like Simeon we should eagerly await the (second) coming of the Son of God. How will we respond? Cherishing God’s gift? Waiting anxiously for Christs return? Do we act with enthusiasm when we read the Bible or do our devotions? Do our actions and attitude toward Christ show our kids his beauty and greatness?
Many of us do not think of God’s promises in these ways because we hold them at arm’s length and only think of them in their most general form. But these are promises we should cherish and apply to our lives through faith in Jesus.
Looking to Jesus,