22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
This text does not exactly say that Simeon was old, but I’ve always pictured him that way. He indicates he is now ready to die and his happy that he can do so in peace, having finally seen Jesus, the child of promise.
I admire the old guy. His perseverance and faith are worth imitating. How often are we tempted to give up when we are simply tired of waiting. The enemy attacks people in their maturity the way a lion might look for a antelope lagging behind the herd.
But not Simeon. He was righteous, devout, sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and waiting. Mostly waiting by this time I would guess. He knew how to express his faith by his faithfulness.
The thing about perseverance and faith like this is that it is acquired by not giving up. Does that sound simplistic? Maybe so, but it is not simple. In fact, it can be hard. Giving up is relatively easy – you just stop trying.
But not Simeon. I pray and commit to not being a quitter either, and I am praying that right now for you. Like Simeon, the old man at the temple, we should each aspire to someday being that old man or woman in the church.