Anticipation

Are You Rushing to See Jesus?

Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened . . . so they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger.  Luke 2:15-16

Okay. I admit it. As soon as I hear “anticipation,” I start humming a few bars of Carly Simon’s 1971 mega-hit.  And yes, the image of a slightly tilted Heinz ketchup bottle flashes across my mind’s monitor. (I’m that old.) Surprisingly, the pop tune and the commercial for my favorite condiment have more in common with the concept of biblical anticipation than I first thought.

The word anticipation does not appear in the KJV or NIV translations of the Bible. However, the NASB translators used anticipation once, in Psalm 119:48, for the Hebrew word qadam, which means “to come to meet” or “to go before.” Qadam is used often in Psalms; usually, though, it is translated “come.” For example, Asaph used it when he prayed, “may your mercy come quickly to meet us” (Psalm 79:8).

“Come quickly” reminds me of an Old Testament story. Joseph jumped into his BMW chariot and rushed to meet his father’s caravan in Genesis 46:29. In the New Testament, the prodigal son’s father saw his son coming and ran to greet him (Luke 15:20).

These two incidents illustrate biblical anticipation—the “can’t wait” aspect of our faith. Joseph and the prodigal son’s father rushed to a reunion with loved ones they already knew intimately. They hurried toward their loved ones because they could not wait to renew their fellowship with them.

In Luke 2:15-16, the shepherds “made haste” to Bethlehem (KJV). The Greek word for “haste” is speudo, which can be translated “to desire earnestly.” Nothing was going to prevent the shepherds from greeting and fellowshipping with the newborn king.

God earnestly desires that we fellowship with Him this Christmas. Are we rushing toward Him in anticipation?

DIG DEEPER:

In Psalm 95:1-7 qadam is translated “come.” According to this passage, what should we rush to do and why should we rush to do it?

As post-resurrection Christians, we also participate in another kind of anticipation. Peter uses the word speudo in 2 Peter 3:12. What is he encouraging believers to do?

Getting together with families during the holidays can be stressful. Read the Prodigal Son’s story in Luke 15:11-32.  What can we learn from the father’s example about dealing with family conflicts?

Denise K. Loock

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