Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity – Monday
I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord. – Genesis 49:18
Jacob, the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham, was at the point of death in the land of Egypt. By the Holy Ghost, working through the Word of God, Jacob had just prophesied concerning the coming of Christ, God’s Messiah, “Shiloh,” the Prince of Peace, from the family of his son, Judah (Genesis 49:10; cf. Isaiah 9:6). And then he said: “I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord!” As a true believer he had looked forward to “the end of [his] faith, even the salvation of [his] soul” (I Peter 1:9), and now in death he gratefully and peacefully anticipated receiving it, the salvation which the Lord, on the basis of the Savior’s vicarious atonement, had prepared for him “from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
He had trusted the Word of God concerning the coming Savior and His accomplishment in time of God’s eternal plan of redemption and salvation. Thus, like Simeon (Luke 2:29), he departed in peace, not disappointed in his waiting, but rejoicing in hope and consoled in his trust. He departed, and the Lord received him, the same Lord, who in the fullness of time would send forth His Son of the tribe of Judah, made of a woman, made under the Law, and manifest Him as the Redeemer of sinful mankind (Galatians 4:4-5). This was almost two thousand years before the birth of Christ, and yet, like Simeon, Jacob had seen by faith the Lord’s salvation. – Having the Scriptures of the New Testament, the glad tidings of fulfillment, we know more about the salvation of the Lord than Jacob knew. “What the fathers most desired, what the prophets’ heart inspired, what they longed for many a year, stands fulfilled in glory here: Abram’s promised great Reward, Zion’s Helper, Jacob’s Lord, Him of twofold race, behold, truly came, as long foretold” (Hymn 91, st. 2-3; TLH).
Therefore, in life, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we sojourn “in the land of promise, as in a strange country” (Hebrews 11:9), trusting in the Lord’s sure promises. And, when the end of that sojourn approaches and we must pass “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4), we shall, like Jacob, wait for, anticipate with joy, and by faith receive the salvation of the Lord, the salvation which Christ purchased and won for us, the salvation which His Father graciously granted to us for His Son’s sake, the salvation which as “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, [is] reserved in heaven for [us] who are kept by the power of God [by the Gospel, Romans 1:16] through faith unto salvation” (I Peter 1:4-5).
Thus we can depart this life in peace, not wearied by the waiting, not disappointed in the hoping, and not failing in the trusting. “This grant us, dear Father in heaven” (Luther) for Jesus’ sake.
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, my Savior, when my last hour is close at hand and I must walk through the valley of the shadow of death, console me with the surety of my redemption, assure me of my accomplished justification, and rejoice my heart as in faith I wait for Thy salvation according to Thy promise. Thus will I depart in peace and be received into the mansions of glory, eternal bliss and quiet rest in the mansions of heaven. Amen.
O Christ, do Thou my soul prepare for that bright home of love,
that I may see Thee and adore with all Thy saints above.
Hymn 618, 6