I hope everyone is doing well on this “hump day.” May is right around the corner and who knows what will come of it. But God is sovereign and is doing something mighty in our lives. But we can be praying that the governor will open things up again soon. But in the meanwhile, here are my devotions for the Book of Exodus: The 8th Plague – a plague of locusts.
Here is some other thoughts I had.
One of my favorite plays from Shakespeare is Macbeth. It is also one of the darkest and most psychological of all his plays. After Macbeth and Banquo defeated the allied forces of Ireland and Norway led by the traitorous MacDonwald, Thane of Cawdor, they cross the Highland moors and encounter three witches. They chant, “Boil, boil, toil, and trouble,” informing Macbeth that he would soon be given the title Thane of Cawdor and shortly after be called King of Scotland. Banquo will become less than Macbeth, yet more. He would be the father of a long line of kings. The witches vanish as the king’s emissary appears and greets Macbeth as “Thane of Cawdor”! The first prophecy is fulfilled; what of the next? Not wishing to wait for the promised crown, Macbeth and his wife murdered King Duncan in his bed. The rest of the play explores how this treacherous act worked a dark power over Macbeth’s heart and mind. He descended into angry suspicion and fear. His reign as king became a bloody disaster. His wife was terrorized by her guilt and eventually she took her own life. Upon that news, he bitterly groans, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death.”
Political ambition fed Macbeth’s discontentment and drove him in impatience to murder. He had been a good man, a brave soldier, a loyal Scot, and a faithful friend to the king. But now the crown was dangled before him and he had to have it. He couldn’t wait for it. He couldn’t trust the honor to come to him naturally. He had to force it, grabbing for it with bloody hands. Once the dirty deed was done, he had the crown, but he did not have the rule. To rule well, you need the hearts of the people. An effective government requires the people to trust it has their good as its chief object. But he had neither their heart nor their trust. Since Macbeth ascended through selfish ambition and blood, his guilt could not allow him to operate for national good. Because he sat on the throne by stealth, he must secure his stolen prize with a furious force furnished by fear. The dreadful outcome of impatience!
Well, with cunning stealth Satan worked impatience into the hearts of Adam and Eve. Eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was put off limits by God, but Satan lured them into eating the fruit saying, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Verse 22 mentions how they had actually gained that knowledge. Being created in God’s likeness, this knowledge would eventually have been given to Adam and Eve. Tragically, they wouldn’t wait for it. They didn’t wait for God’s perfect timing. They had to have it and have it when they wanted it. Thus, impatience drove them out of God’s fellowship. Impatience destroyed their trust in God’s wisdom, goodness, and benevolence. If Adam had only been patient in his obedience to God, eventually he would have what he so impetuously reached out to obtain, but he would have had it in glory, not under a curse.
I know how difficult it is to remain patient when our desires are stirred. And I know how easy it is to fall into impatience when the heat of trials and difficulties make life tiresome or challenging. But if we learn the lesson from Macbeth or from Adam and Eve, we’ll see reaching out to acquire what it not yet ours to enjoy, meets with nefarious results. Ecclesiastes 3:1 puts a friendly restraint on our longings when it reminds us, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” God has a time and a purpose and when we impatiently jump the gun, we are rejecting God’s good and wise plan. Everything has a time, and He is preparing everything accordingly. Patience keeps the end goal in view while helping us to remain at peace as we walk steadfastly and sure-footedly until it all comes together. And the blessed news for us Christians is this: Christ is, in fact, preparing a place of glory for us. And because He is busy in heaven doing that, He comforts our impatient hearts saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1-4). You know, He is longing for the day when He will eat and drink with all His saints, and even now He Himself must be patient as He prepares everything just right. His timing is perfect, and when it comes, it will be wonderful. But He Himself is being disciplined by patience and thus, we must also be patient in until all is fulfilled. As we long for “normality,” and desire corporate worship, and as we undergo various inconveniences and hardships created by our current circumstances, wait patiently. He is doing something with each of us and His work in that will be perfect. We don’t want to pull the souffle out of the oven too soon lest it fall, so to say. We can rest in His promises, and if we will be patiently enduring under these trials, soon our hearts are going to explode with a joy that will be only be surpassed by heaven’s eschatological glory.