Patience and young people just don't seem to go together. Think of young people and you think of speed. Talk to fathers. They will tell you about their swift sons. Talk to moms. They will prattle about their darting daughters. Turn to the Scriptures. In them you will bump into quite a few of speeding youngsters. Rushing youth. Impatient young bloods. Here's a list of hurrying hot youth from the Bible:
Amnon: Impatient for Pleasure
David's darling son he was. The first born in fact (II Sam. 3:2). Who? Amnon. He had an eye for his pretty half-sister, Tamar. Did Amnon want to marry Tamar and live with her happily ever after? No. He wanted to just taste her -not take her as his wife. Here was a man impatient for sexual pleasure. How do I say that? The Scripture declares, "Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible that he could ever fulfil his love for her" (II Sam. 13:2). He could have told his dad what Jacob told his would-be father-in-law: "Give me my wife (a wife rather). My time is completed, and I want to lie with her" (Gen. 29:21). (This, in my opinion is the frankest request of the Bible!). In fact as he was about to rape Tamar she pleaded with him to wait and meet the King -their father -with a request to marry her (II Sam. 13:13). (Going by Tamar's statement I conclude that she was not averse to marrying Amnon -the heir apparent to the throne of David. She could become queen, isn't?). But Amnon would have none of it. He wanted sexual pleasure. And he wanted it like so many of the modern generation -"NOW!" So, he completes the evil act of rape. Once he got what he wanted, he asked her to pack up and leave. Did he pay for being so reckless with his sexual desires? Oh yes! He did not live too long. This sex-maniac was murdered.
An arrow pierced another youngster who was scampering for sexual pleasure with a married woman (Read Proverbs 7). The Lord’s disgust was upon Oholibah symbolic of the nation of Judah -for racing impatiently to make love with Babylonian Military officers (Ezek. 23:16,18).
In this sex-charged age we now live in, young people are told it is cool to have sex without waiting for marriage. No! That is far from being cool. Having sex before marriage makes one a big fools--- according to the Bible. In fact Tamar told Amnon just that: "You would be called one of the greatest fools in Israel (for doing this to me!)" (II Sam. 13:13). Why? Check it out with Boris Becker. After losing his last Wimbledon match to Australian Pat Rafter in 1999, Becker had sex -an act that just lasted five seconds in the laundry cupboard with an unknown Russian model. She became pregnant. Becker described the notorious incident as "five seconds that will haunt me for the rest of my life." Becker was talking about the lasting emotional turmoil’s that will plague anybody who has sex outside of marriage. Is this generation listening? The pleasure of illicit sex will be puny compared to the enormous guilt feeling that will sweep over you (Heb 11:25)! The young woman of Song of Songs waited till marriage for sex. She is compared to 'a garden locked up', 'spring enclosed' and 'a sealed fountain' in Song of Songs 4:1 which is a poetic way of saying that she was a virgin on her wedding night. She has this timeless Word from God for the youth of today which they will do well to take: "Do not awaken love until the time is right" (SS 8:4). From the context of this verse it is clear that she is talking about sexual love (See verse 5). The right time and the only time -according to God's Word -for enjoying sexual love is marriage. The Bible coaxes young husbands to enjoy an exciting sex life with their wives -did you know (Prov 5:18, 19)? Let me invite you to sing this song: "I don't want your sex now/I can wait (patiently) until we make our wedding vow!" Wow! Then the Lord would be delighted with us -not disgusted!
Absalom: Impatient for Power
Absalom was a king's kid. His father was the legendary King David. He had looks that swept women off their feet (II Sam. 14:25). He had such a winning personality that that the Scripture has this to say about him: he "stole the hearts of all the people of Israel" (II Sam. 15:6). Prince Charming -he certainly was. If you looked beyond the looks of Absalom you would find a impatient young man -a young man thirsting for power. He told his pops that he was going to Hebron to offer a sacrifice. He was conning his dad. He wasn't going to Hebron to offer a sacrifice but scheme. Scheming to unseat his father (II Sam. 15: 7-10). He was third in the queque of potential candidates to be the next king of Israel. He was behind two brothers: Amnon, David's oldest son and Kileab (a guy who was not probably a strong personality like him -the Scripture just names him just once and he is forgotten (II Sam. 3:2, 3). The throne would naturally come to him if the other two passed away. But Absalom could not wait. He finished off Amnon not primarily for raping his sister Tamar but because he was his main threat to the throne he wanted so desperately, by hatching a clever plot (II Sam. 13:23-34). He slept with his father's concubines not primarily because his sexual appetite was voracious but because that was his way of saying, "Even what intimately belongs to the King -his concubines -are now mine! If I can get onto the King’s bed then getting onto his chair is no big deal!" (II Sam. 16:22). What was the end of this impatient prince? His long locks got locked onto a low-lying tree branch as he rode in his mule. He had wanted his father's seat. Now he hung in midair without a seat to sit on! How ironic! He wanted to be the crown prince. Instead he became a pale corpse! (II Sam. 18:9-15).
Dying to get ahead? Hungry for power? Gunning for the prime-spot? In the rat-race to reach the top by hook or crook? That is folly. Ask Absalom he would tell you that it is. Hear Absalom's brother -Solomon's Spirit-given words (the guy who eventually sat on the throne Absalom was dying to sit in!): In his time He (God) will make all things beautiful (Eccl, 3:11). Peter who became the pillar of the Church after its Founder (Christ) passed away writes to young people (perhaps the aspiring young colts of the church): "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time" (I Pet. 5:5, 6). Before the 'due time' arrives as per God's calendar, we young people should beat the temptation to take the lift to the top! What Absalom failed to realise was this: if it was God's plan that he should succeed his father David, even his elder brothers Amnon or Kileab or anyone else could not have stood in the way!
Samson: Impatience for a Partner
The single Samson once 'saw' a Philistine woman. He just saw her and impulse made up his mind to marry her. In seconds he made a decision the effects of which he had to endure a lifetime. He chose the person with whom he had to spend his entire life without much thought. Impatiently after he got back home, he prodded his papa to get him married to that damsel from Timnah -a Philistine Town (Jud .14:1-3). His parents were far from pleased. They were pretty peeved with his choice of marrying a girl who was not a worshipper of Yahweh -a pagan. That Samson had made a bad choice was evident by the turn of events that took place after the marriage. First, she broke the trust that Samson had on her by leaking out the solution to the riddle he had posed to his 30 best pals who came for his wedding (Jud. 14:17). And as if that was not enough she left Samson to marry the stud who was Samson's best man at the wedding (Jud. 14:20)! That is enough to tell me that she was probably a characterless woman -a flirt! Probably she looked like a princess. That was why Samson was rooting to marry her. But Samson failed to look beyond the looks to see if she had character. Reason? He was impatient. He was rushing things up. Samson did not stop to think about this self-evident fact: beauty does not last (Prov. 31:30).
Considering marriage? Go slow. Don't get carried away by the outward show. You can change your lousy printer. But your life partner -no! The Bible teaches that the marriage bond is for keeps -for your entire lifetime (I Cor. 7:10, 11). So you need to be extra-careful to prayerfully make the right choice. A proverb comes to my mind: "Marry in haste. And repent at leisure." That has been the story of scores of young people. Eliazer was given the huge responsibility of chosing Isaac's life-partner. The Bible has this to say about him when he went about the process of bride-hunting: "The servant watched her (Rebecca) in silence, wondering whether or not she was the one the Lord in tented him to meet!" (Gen. 24:21). Eliazer was prepared to patient. To just wait and wonder. But Samson wasn't. That made a big difference. Rebecca whom Isaac married eventually took the place of his dead mummy. She was of great comfort to Isaac who missed his mom terribly (Gen. 24:67). But Mrs. Samson was such a nagging person that she drove her husband back to live again with his mummy (Jud. 14:17, 19)!
So am I suggesting that young guys should divorce themselves from Madame Speed? Am I driving home the point that young ladies should say 'bye bye' to Mr. Swift? Hardly. Not at all. We all need to be quick. Fast. In some of the things. "In what?" you might wonder. To get the answer lets take one good look at yet another impatient young man. His name? Jesus. He made some statements that left no doubts in the minds of his listeners that he was in haste -impatient. After His encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the well, he quipped, "Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest!" (In. 4:35). What was Jesus getting at? It was this: there were many in the world around just like the Samaritan Woman already and therefore his disciples -that's us should rush to tell them about this Freely Available Living Water -Him!
Young people, let’s be become impatient when it comes to taking the gospel to the truckloads of youth that are thirsty! Let us run to announce the Good News that Jesus alone is the Living Water that quenches every thirst to the last person on this planet! Oh that every Christ-following young will be gripped with this kind of Jesus-like impatience! If a Jesus-like impatience grips us, then we would swear like our Master, "All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent (us) , because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end" (In. 9:4)! Ready?
AIM Magazine July 2004 Vol.35,