So often in the Psalms, the prayers were for the Lord to “make haste.”
In other words, “Hurry please!” “Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” (Psa 38:22, KJV). “Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.” (Psa 40:13). “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.” (Psa 70:1). “But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.” (Psa 70:5). “O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.” (Psa 71:12). “Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.” (Psa 141:1).
How often do we pray like this? When we need help, we need it now. When we desire mercy and forgiveness, we really need it quickly.
We learned in the Old Testament that although God was extremely patient with the Israelites, He was also quick (at times) to invoke His wrath on the people. One example was when the people turned against Moses and Aaron. To say the least – God was irate!
“And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.” (Num 16:42-46).
However, Moses and Aaron were quick in their own response, and quickly ran to the rescue of the people. “And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.” (Num 16:47-50).
Even with their quick response, 14,700 people died. Just how many people would have died in the plague from God’s wrath had they not had mercy and compassion? What if Moses and Aaron had just stood there and ignored the dying people?
We too are to be quick to be merciful and have compassion. We are to “make haste” to pray for our enemies when they suffer. Jesus said, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee;
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” (Matt 5:23-24). What a witness and what a testimony if we show our Christian hearts to others, especially when they are in the midst of trials and crises. Our prayers are heard by the Lord. He is quick to answer our every need. What better way to honor and obey Him than to do His will, and be quick to forgive, and yes, even pray for our enemies – as He commands. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44).
Why do we try each and every day to be obedient to the Lord, when we are already saved, and we know we will be in Heaven with Him when this life is over? Because we want to be ready for Him every day – not just some distant year in the future. He promised, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Rev 22:12-13).
Are you ready?