Bible Society of South Africa

Twenty-two people in the Bible who had to be more patient than you: Simeon & Anna - 22 August 2023

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

28Simeon took the child in his arms and gave thanks to God:

29“Now, Lord, you have kept your promise,

and you may let your servant go in peace.

Luke 2:28-29GNBOpen in Bible reader

In the bustling temple courtyard, amidst the joyful celebration of new parents presenting their child to the Lord, two figures stood out. Simeon and Anna, both advanced in years, waiting for the birth of a Saviour.

Simeon, described as “righteous and devout,” was eagerly waiting for the “consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). He had received a promise from the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Lord’s Messiah. For years he waited, seeking God’s presence, studying his Word, and believing that the promise would one day be fulfilled.

Anna, a prophet in her eighties, had also spent decades within the temple’s walls, worshiping and fasting. Her life was a testament to patient dedication, even after many years as a widow. Her devotion to God was unwavering, and she seized every opportunity to share the hope of the Messiah’s arrival.

When the moment finally came, and Mary and Joseph presented the baby Jesus in the temple, Simeon and Anna’s patient faith was rewarded. Simeon took the infant in his arms and praised God, knowing that the promise had been fulfilled. Anna, too, recognised the significance of this moment and “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Simeon and Anna didn’t merely sit back waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled; they sought God’s presence and remained steadfast in their faith despite the passage of time.

Their example challenges us to evaluate our own posture of patience. Are we actively seeking God’s presence in the midst of waiting? Are we rooted in his Word and his promises? Do we trust that his timing is perfect, even when we cannot fully comprehend it?

Just as Simeon and Anna held the infant Saviour in their arms, we too can embrace the fulfilment of God’s promises, knowing that our patient waiting is never in vain.

Prayer: Gracious Father, help us to cultivate patient faith as we navigate life’s waiting seasons. May we seek your presence, trust in your timing, and rejoice in the fulfilment of your promises in our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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