Have Patience with God

Yael Eckstein  |  February 16, 2022

idol of the golden calf

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” — Exodus 32:1

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. This week’s Torah portion is Ki Tisa, which means “when you raise up,” from Exodus 30:11—34:35.

We live in truly miraculous times. For people of biblical faith, the fact that we are witnessing the fulfilment of so many biblical prophecies is almost too good to be true. The mass return of the people of Israel to our homeland, foretold by the prophets of the Bible, makes us only more excited for what’s coming next.

So many of us, people of faith, Jews and Christians alike, are always on the lookout for the next fulfilment of biblical prophecy. And even though we know that God’s plan is a long and gradual process, we want to see the next steps unfold right away.

While anticipating God’s next move is exciting, it’s also true that it can be dangerous. When the next step in God’s plan doesn’t come at the time or in the manner that we thought it would, many people despair. We often forget that we need to have patience with God and His timing.

In fact, the rabbis in the Talmud cautioned us against making predictions about the End Times for this very reason. Anticipation of the end is good, but when we are too sure that our calculations are correct, we set ourselves up for disappointment. What we really need to do is simply trust in God. He got us to this point, and He’ll get us to the end goal in His time, not ours.

Have Patience with God

We see this lesson in this week’s Torah portion. The children of Israel knew that Moses ascended Mount Sinai to be with God for “forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24:18). Jewish tradition teaches that the children of Israel were one day off in their count of the forty days and nights. So, when Moses didn’t come down on the day they expected him, they panicked.

This led them to question God and Moses, and ultimately to create the Golden Calf. Had they simply taken a deep breath and accepted that their anticipated date could have been wrong, had they trusted in God and Moses who had led them out of Egypt with signs and wonders, this crisis of faith would have been avoided.

All that was needed was to have patience with God. We must not let our anticipation of God’s plan get in the way of our patient trust in Him.

Your Turn:

Take some of your prayer time to tell God that you are patient, that you trust His plan for the world, and your life.