It’s not often I can squeeze two articles out of one verse in scripture, but here goes.
Last week I wrote about Hosea 10:12, which says, “…break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord…”
I stopped there not because I like to take verses out of context to use them for my own agenda but because the rest of the verse packs it’s own punch and warrants an examination all by itself.
“…for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.”
See? I told you it was fantastic.
A lot of us seek the Lord. We may even ask Him two or three times for something if it is super important to us. But then we stop. We get tired of asking. We get frustrated at His less than instantaneous response. Or we simply forget. This happens to me most often when I am praying for someone else. Typical self-centered me says, “That person’s request has nothing to do with me. Therefore, as soon as I pray for it this one time, it is out of sight, out of mind.”
Hosea confirms there is a time for ceasing to pray. It’s just not usually as soon as we think it is. We are to pray until the Lord comes. If He hasn’t met us on the subject yet, we are to keep praying.
This reminds me of Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:22-32). As confusing and odd as that passage of scripture is, verse 26 is clear. In it Jacob says to the Lord, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”
There is that until word again.
Hosea and Jacob both charge us believers to pursue the Lord with everything we have until we reap the blessing and experience righteousness.
I think it is of utmost importance to emphasize that doing so does not require the Lord to answer our prayers exactly how we think He should. Pursuing the Lord with this vigor guarantees a blessing and some righteousness, but they will probably take much different forms than we anticipate. In fact, if the blessings He chooses to bestow are different than what we want, it is only because God wants to give us blessings that are much better than what we had desired in the first place.
So, pursue the Lord until he comes and blesses you. The blessing might not be what you had anticipated; it will be even better.
Paul prayed until God told him He would not answer the way Paul wanted (2 Corinthians 12).
Love the way you are mining these verses for us.