One Grand Story
God’s people are a waiting people.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells one grand story: both the Old Testament and the New reveal to us the redemptive plan of our God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sometimes we get the impression that the Scriptures are just an amalgamation of stories from all over the place. Yet while it is true that the Bible’s timeline spans from eternity past to eternity future, and that the Bible’s territory covers quite a bit of space, what we have in its pages is one word from the one God concerning the one salvation that is found in the one King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. Yes, we should devote ourselves to knowing and understanding all the different contours of the story—but we must not miss the big picture.
When the prophet Zechariah had a vision of the comprehensive rule and reign of the Lord, he was living in a day when the restoration of God’s people felt incomplete. The people had returned to Jerusalem after being exiled due to their ongoing sin, and they had rebuilt the walls of the city and the temple at its heart. Yet life hardly felt like the gladsome, joyous, sorrowless experience that Isaiah had prophesied it would be (Isaiah 51:11). Had the Lord not kept His promise? Had Isaiah been mistaken? No, said Zechariah. This was never meant to be it! Zechariah was looking past the restoration of the Jerusalem temple to where that small victory pointed: the global reign of the Lord’s Anointed, Jesus Christ. God’s people would not be waiting forever.
In our day, He has come. We are not only witnesses but partakers in the building of His true temple: His body, the church. Still, though more and more people turn to Him across the globe each day, we still await the day when every knee should bow and “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11). But as we wait, we can look back across the Scriptures and see just how faithful God has always been. We can see with our own eyes how He has orchestrated “a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10).
As the narrative of this grand story continues to unfold, and as each of our lives contributes little portions to the plot, we can press on in hope. If you are feeling that life is not the gladsome, joyous, sorrowless experience that the Scriptures promise, remember this: this is not meant to be it. There is better ahead, and one day soon “the LORD will be king over all the earth.” For now we must wait, and serve, and hope—for we will not be waiting forever.
My Soul Waits for the Lord
A Song of Ascents.
1Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
2O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
5I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
7O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
8And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
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