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Last week I mentioned that there are numerous people who only appear in the Bible once. They come on the scene—many of them nameless to us—to play their part and then we never hear about them again.
But we still hear from them because their lives are still teaching us.
Remember that each of you is God’s gift to the world IF you are using God’s gift in you to glorify God in the world. We meet one of those gifts in the Book of Luke that can teach us Dads some valuable lessons.
There are several “one-timers” listed by Luke in the Advent story. Luke was a first-rate historian, researching his subject and talking to eyewitnesses to the events. Some of these one-timers have a few details Luke shared with us:
- Zechariah and Elizabeth—we know their family lineage (priestly), Zechariah’s role in the temple, and the fact that Elizabeth was barren
- Shepherds—we know where they came from (the fields surrounding Bethlehem) and their occupation.
- Anna—we know her tribe (Asher), her father (Phanuel), and role (prophetess), and that she had been married and is now widowed.
But all Luke can say of Simeon is, “There was a man called Simeon…” (Luke 2:25-35).
Although, even that short introduction is packed with meaning.
Simeon in Greek means harkening while Simeon in Hebrew means heard. So he was both one who heard God and one who was heard by God. This speaks to me of an intimacy of relationship. Simeon didn’t view his conversation with God as a monologue but as a dialogue. I think that far too often we view our Bible reading time as God simply speaking to us, and our prayer time as us speaking to God. But both of these activities should be a two-way dialogue.
A.W. Tozer has a great definition of a godly leader that I believe accurately portrays Simeon: “A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation.”
I think this means that a safe, godly leader is one who sees what is happening in a Christ-less culture, who then cries out in pain to God, and then who hears the Holy Spirit telling him how to live a holy life in that Christ-less culture.
We could call this external pressure grief over unrighteousness. Simeon so stood out in his culture that Luke calls him “righteous.” This is one whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God.
He also calls Simeon “devout.” This is a compound Greek word that only Luke uses in the New Testament which means to catch good things and make them your own. Simeon took hold of the things of God, made them his own, and then observed them carefully.
Finally, Luke tells us that Simeon was “waiting for the consolation.” He was living expectantly to see God’s Word come to its fulfillment. He could do all of this because the Holy Spirit was upon him and the Holy Spirit had revealed truth to him.
That phrase “revealed to him by the Holy Spirit” again speaks to the intimate relationship Simeon had with God.
Simeon knew that what God promises, He fulfills. He knew the consolation God had promised through Isaiah (Isaiah 40:1-2), and then Simeon saw its fulfillment in Jesus the Christ—
“Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
In today’s darkening, Christ-less culture, godly men like Simeon are needed again.
Dads, do you feel the external pressure of today’s culture? If so, I pray that you will also feel the inward strengthening of the Holy Spirit drawing you into a more intimate relationship with Himself.
God gives His Word to men that will wait expectantly and pray fervently for its fulfillment. God is looking for men—for Dads—that will not cave in to cultural pressure.
Guys, let the Holy Spirit’s inward pressure strengthen you to stand strong. As you see the external downward spiral away from God, don’t collapse, don’t complain, but hear God’s Word and remain a righteous and devout man for your family and your community.
In our series We Are: Pentecostal, we talked much more in-depth about how the Holy Spirit wants to help us. You can check out all of those messages by clicking here.
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June 20, 2022 at 6:24 am
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