For yet a little while - There seems to be an allusion here to what the Saviour himself said, “A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again, a little while and ye shall see me;” John 16:16. Or more probably it may be to Habakkuk 2:3. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not he: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” The idea which the apostle means to convey evidently is, that the time of their deliverance from their trials was not far remote.
And he that shall come will come - The reference here is, doubtless, to the Messiah. But what “coming” of his is referred to here, is more uncertain. Most probably the idea is, that the Messiah who was coming to destroy Jerusalem, and to overthrow the Jewish power Luke 21:28. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh;” see the notes on that passage. The Christians in Palestine were oppressed, reviled, and persecuted by the Jews. The destruction of the city and the temple would put an end to that power, and would be in fact the time of deliverance for those who had been persecuted. In the passage before us, Paul intimates that that period was not far distant. Perhaps there were already “signs” of his coming, or indications that he was about to appear, and he therefore urges them patiently to persevere in their fidelity to him during the little time of trial that remained. The same encouragement and consolation may be employed still. To all the afflicted it may be said that “he that shall come will come” soon. The time of affiction is not long. Soon the Redeemer will appear to deliver his afflicted people from all their sorrow; to remove them from a world of pain and tears; and to raise their bodies from the dust, and to receive them to mansions where trials are forever unknown; John 14:3 note; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 notes.
For yet a little while - Ετι γαρ μικρον ὁσον· For yet a very little time. In a very short space of time the Messiah will come, and execute judgment upon your rebellious country. This is determined, because they have filled up the measure of their iniquity, and their destruction slumbereth not. The apostle seems to refer to Habakkuk 2:3, Habakkuk 2:4, and accommodates the words to his own purpose.
The Lord is at hand. Heavenly intelligences united with sanctified influences of earth are to proclaim the third angel's message and sound the warning, The end of all things is at hand. “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37). A people are to be prepared to stand in the day of the Lord, and having done all, to stand. Those who crowd together in cities and villages are making a serious mistake. Those who thus neglect to extend their influence, by circulating wider and wider, reaching to the uttermost parts of the world are neglecting to stand at their post of duty.... TDG 170.4Read in context »
So will it be with the remnant people of God who are scattered—some in the mountain fastnesses, some exiled, some pursued, some persecuted. When the voice of God is heard and the brightness of the glory is revealed, when the trial is over, the dross removed, they know they are in the presence of One who has redeemed them by His own blood. Just what Christ was to John in his exile He will be to His people who are made to feel the hand of oppression for the faith and testimony of Jesus Christ.... These were driven by the storm and tempest of persecution to the crevices of the rocks, but were hiding in the Rock of Ages; and in the fastnesses of the mountains, in the caves and dens of the earth, the Saviour reveals His presence and His glory. Yet a little while, and He that is to come will come and will not tarry. His eyes as a flame of fire penetrate into the fast-closed dungeons and hunt out the hidden ones, for their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. These eyes of the Saviour are above us, around us, noting every difficulty, discerning every danger; and there is no place where His eyes cannot penetrate, no sorrows and sufferings of His people where the sympathy of Christ does not reach.... TMK 360.3Read in context »
I hope and pray that you may walk in all lowliness of mind, that you may be a blessing to one another. “Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” The bridal lamps must be kept trimmed and burning. Our Lord delays because of His long-suffering to usward, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” But when we, with all the redeemed, shall stand upon the sea of glass, with harps of gold and crowns of glory, and before us the immensity of eternity, then we shall see how short was the waiting period of probation. “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” 5T 485.1
We are living in an age when all should especially give heed to the injunction of the Saviour: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” Let everyone bear in mind that he should be true and loyal to God, believing the truth, growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Saviour's invitation is: “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The Lord is willing to help us, to strengthen and bless us; but we must pass through the refining process until all the impurities in our character are burned away. Every member of the church will be subjected to the furnace, not to consume, but to purify. 5T 485.2
The Lord has wrought among you, but Satan has also intruded himself, to bring in fanaticism. There are other evils also to be avoided. Some are in danger of being satisfied with the glimpses they have had of the light and love of God, and so ceasing to advance. Watchfulness and prayer have not been maintained. At the very time when the acclamation is made, “The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these,” temptations come in, and darkness gathers about the soul—earthliness, selfishness, and self-glorification. There is a necessity for the Lord Himself to communicate His own ideas to the soul. What a thought!—that instead of our poor, earthly, contracted ideas and plans the Lord will communicate to us His own ideas, His own thought, noble, broad, far-reaching, always leading heavenward! 5T 485.3Read in context »
Be patient, Christian soldier. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come. The night of weary waiting, and watching, and mourning is nearly over. The reward will soon be given; the eternal day will dawn. There is no time to sleep now,—no time to indulge in useless regrets. He who ventures to slumber now will miss precious opportunities of doing good. We are granted the blessed privilege of gathering sheaves in the great harvest; and every soul saved will be an additional star in the crown of Jesus, our adorable Redeemer. Who is eager to lay off the armor, when by pushing the battle a little longer, he will achieve new victories and gather new trophies for eternity?—The Review and Herald, October 25, 1881. ChS 275.1Read in context »