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What does it mean to wait upon the Lord?

My studies through the Bible suggests waiting on the Lord is not fasting. But some Christians believe it is fasting.

Isaiah 40:31

NKJV - 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Clarify (1) Share Report Asked March 17 2014 Image Jafeda Waba

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Open uri20130622 23898 8dsex Kelli Hamann Supporter Pastor's Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Writer, Cellist
The word "wait" in the original text has these meanings according to Strong's Concordance:

a primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect:--gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

One other meaning I found in a Hebrew lexicon is to "mutually expect one another."

When you look at the entire group of definitions offered here, you can see a "picture" of sorts begin to develop, which is exactly the way the Hebrew language is meant to be read. When you imagine a person being "bound together" with God, or a person and God "mutually expecting one another," coupled with words like "tarry" and "patiently," the original intent of the Hebrew word that has been translated to our modern "wait" becomes clearer. 

In order for a person to truly be bound together with God, one must tarry patiently in the presence of God, allowing Him time to speak through His word and to move on the person's heart as He wishes. In addition, our stance must be one of expectancy and openness to His word and His guidance.

I believe that the closest English word to the original text translates as "wait" because in order to be wound and bound together with God, a person would need to sit still in God's presence, patiently awaiting His whispers of love and words of guidance and encouragement. Think about a craftsman (or woman) binding hemp strands together to make a rope--this takes time and skill, a master at work, and the proper treatment of the hemp strands in order to create a strong and useful rope. It makes sense in Isaiah 40:31 to say that the person who waits on God will renew his strength because a cord of many strands is stronger than a single strand.

March 18 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Sharon Fernandez
To wait upon the Lord is to look exclusively to Jesus Christ and The Cross on a daily basis, knowing that He will meet your every need. Jesus being the Source and the Cross being the means.

January 26 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Good question, Jafeda!

Kelli was right when she said "wait upon" means as the Hebrew lexicon of the Old Testament, Brown-Driver-Briggs, also says:
I. [קָוָה] verb wait for (probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring, waiting: Assyrian ‡ûû II, I. wait, ‡û, cord; Arabic be strong, strength, also strand of rope; Syriac endure, remain, await, threads, so ᵑ7 קַוִּין spider's threads, web); 

I think Isaiah 40:31, where it says, "They that WAIT UPON THE LORD" means "they who HOPE in the Lord." It is translated wait, or look eagerly for,(with ל of thing) in Job 6:19. 

Job 6:19
HEB: הֲלִיכֹ֥ת שְׁ֝בָ֗א קִוּוּ־ לָֽמוֹ׃
NAS: The travelers of Sheba hoped for them.
KJV: of Sheba waited for them.
INT: the travelers of Sheba hoped

Press onward, upward still,
To win your way at last,
With better hope and stronger will
Than in the past.

God, bless Your church with hope!
Despite chaotic days,
May we in chaos shine to light
A pathway through life’s maze.

"Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to... give us HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT as we WAIT PATIENTLY for God's promises to be fulfilled." Romans 15:4 
NLT Sing through the Bible (Amy Treadwell Toy) on youtube.

But the opposite is also true. Those who don't wait on the Lord shall not renew their strength. Those who don't wait on the Lord shall not mount up with wings like eagles. Those who don't wait upon the Lord shall run and be wearied. And those who don't wait upon the Lord shall walk and be faint. 

And for what it's worth, I believe waiting on the Lord could include fasting but not in every instance, for sure.

June 22 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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