We thought in the last study about people who were found in scripture 'waiting on God' or 'alone' with the Living God and the consequences that follow.
ABRAHAM is one who enjoyed many hours of communion with the Living God as a result of Genesis 12, the call of God came to him in that first encounter as God began to separate him for a specific task.
Genesis 15 that task was brought into reality with God bringing him into Covenant relationship as the task is unveiled and the future nation is revealed in that waiting on the Lord.
It did not make Abraham perfect but it did bring him into a closer relationship with the Living God, he had much to learn but the closer he came the closer he wanted to come.
The hours spent alone with God were marked in scripture and Abraham patiently waited on the Lord until Genesis 18 and the promise of a son, Isaac.
What a culmination of of waiting in hope on the Lord that Isaac is born chapter 21 but the discipline needed was real in his walk with the Lord.
Abraham knew the trials and testings but the triumph of waiting on the Lord comes on Mount Moriah in Genesis 22 where in the quietness Abraham is told to offer his son on the altar to God.
What a statement 'God will provide a lamb' v 8 and He did v 13, waiting on God brings discipline and trust and over those years and chapters in Genesis Abraham proved his faith in the Living God.
MOSES is the next in line to prove his faith by waiting on the Lord and his waiting involved being 'alone with God' it was a personal encounter for Moses.
Exodus 3 we find Moses walking the flock of sheep for Jethro in the Midian desert a barren landscape but with a few areas of grass and water.
It was an ideal place for the Living God to draw the attention of Moses and draw him into a closer relationship with him.
The bushes in the desert were few and far between so that the one on 'fire' was soon noticed by Moses who drew near without realizing at first what was happening.
The fact that Moses was alone is important God had removed all the obstacles so that He could gain the full attention of Moses.
The Living God had been patiently waiting for this hour to come, He had heard the cry of His children in Egypt and He wanted Moses to return to the fold to lead them out of captivity.
Moses was to learn that waiting on the Lord was not just a one of event but it was to be a regular time where he would commune with the Lord.
That single event in Exodus 3 is followed later in Exodus 19 with the amazing event when the flock of people have replaced the flock of sheep in the desert.
The Midian desert was replaced by the Sinai wilderness the wandering sheep by the wandering people and Moses is separated from the nation to go up the mount 'alone' v 23.
He was learning to commune with the Living God without the distractions of other people and his failure with Aaron occurred because he took his eye of the Lord to look at the people.
'Alone and waiting on God' was his final act before his home call, Moses goes up Mount Nebo alone to view the inheritance Deuteronomy 32 v 49.
He had communed with the Lord many times in many various places but this one was special he was viewing not only the promised land on earth but he was preparing for the eternal promised land.
Alone with God on Nebo was the stepping stone into eternity and Gods literal presence and the next time we hear of Moses is in Matthew on the Mount Transfiguration communing with the Lord Jesus.
What dramatic scenes these bring before us but they encourage us to press on patiently seeking the Lord during our daily walk on earth, because we too are going to share eternity with Moses and the vast host who have gone before.
JOSHUA comes next in line both in scripture and historically, a man who is suddenly moved on to the centre stage of publicity.
'Moses my servant is dead' Joshua 1 v 2 and the Lord separates Joshua for that onerous task of leading the rebellious nation across the Jordan and into the Promised Land.
A massive task that involved so much time and energy expended on a people who were not prepared to wait upon a God but who were regularly telling God what He should be doing.
Joshua had to learn the art of 'waiting on God' by personal separation from the crowd to be alone with the Living God.
How easy it is to be distracted from the major issues by getting bogged down with periphery topics, Joshua certainly had to face this situation.
Waiting on the Lord became the priority issue for this man of God and we find him moving quietly but very effectively into the Promised Land guided by the hand of the Lord.
He learned to rest on the facts that were revealed to him in those quiet times rather than be swayed by the many arguments presented by a rebellious people.
GIDEON is the next character that comes to mind and the way he deals with the nation living in rebellion towards the Living God Judges 6.
Seven years of rebellion had led the nation to its knees, the Midianites were rampant across the land causing the children of Israel into the mountains for survival.
Gods messenger is resting under the oak tree v 11 whilst Gideon is busy on the threshing floor v 12 Gideon was in touch with the Throne of God.
He is a faithful man in the sight of God and one who was actively involved in walking on the path of righteousness, having time to be alone with God.
The day arrives when in Gods timetable changes are to be made amongst His people and what changes they were to be.
Gideon is alone with God v 14 when he receives the marching orders, 'go in this thy might' then note 'I have sent thee', God equips before He sends us on an errand.
The attack begins on the altars of Baal Judges 6 v 23 these evil altars and practices have no place in a land inhabited by the Living Gods children.
The people under Joshua were supposed to have cut these of once and for all but sadly there were those amongst them who clung to idolatry.
God puts the knife in at the root of their problem and the altars of Baal were to be replaced by the Altar to the Living God
The quiet time alone with God proved to be the preparation time for battle, the orders are transmitted as Gideon waited upon the Lord.
The 'Spirit of the Lord' v 34 covered Gideon so that empowered he was able to lead his army forward, easy yes, but wait a minute, we are so impatient.
We have the Holy Spirit covering His servant but His servant is not quiet to ready, he puts out the fleece of security.
Gideon needed reassurance when he had all the assurance necessary, but before we throw stones about that 'fleece' let us examine ourselves and how observant are we?
We have the mighty Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us and yet how insecure we are as we face lives challenges, seeking reassurances when we should be marching forward.
The phrase given to the church was 'go into all the world' by the Saviour and yet we are content to sit at home in our holy huddles looking for reassurances.
The truth is Gideon learned from this experience and does not return this way again, he learned to wait on the Lord and then to be obedient to the word that is given.
There are many lessons to be learned and if we are observant we can make steady progress along Gods holy highway but we may be slower to latch on to Gods word and in His grace and mercy He moves us along at the pace we choose to go.