Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. (NASB)
As someone who has been waiting on a few promises from God for a great deal of time, I had several questions on my heart regarding Psalm 105:19. It has honestly been difficult for my mind to grasp how and why such a GOOD FATHER would allow His children to be “tested” while waiting on something that He himself happened to promise to them.
In my time with the Lord recently, while reading through the Psalms, this verse challenged me yet again. Instead of shelving it in frustration, I began to ask the Father what was on His heart regarding this verse. And as a good Father does so well, He began to graciously speak to me about it.
What He spoke to my heart, I believe, is a truth dagger of encouragement and hope to the sons and daughters of God.
He first directed me to look at the Hebrew meaning of “word” in this scripture. The meaning of “word” (h0565) is simple: The utterance of God. I quickly felt a challenge from the Lord to remember what He has actually spoken to me in the past. As I sat with Him uninterrupted, He gently guided me through several promises I have yet to see come to pass, and then He took me through all of the scripture, prophetic words and words that came directly from His heart to mine in the years that I have been waiting.
“What have I said to you?” He asked me. Challenged by this question, I searched my heart for an answer that was perhaps bigger than what I would have originally said in response.
Sitting with Him and recounting all of the things that He had spoken to me in years gone past about my promises, I began to ask again about the word “test.” This little word has bothered me more than anything else in this little verse. I needed to reconcile His goodness with what I seemed to see as a form of cruelty.
He led me again to look up the Hebrew meaning (h6884), and I found that this word does not mean something that’s unbearable or cruel. It means refining, yes; but the word also means “to cast,” specifically in fire. To cast something is not just to burn it – a “cast” is an object made my shaping molten metal material in a mold. According to Google, the things that are cast most often are TOOLS, WEAPONS, and JEWELRY.
WHOAH. I can even feel the Presence of God while I type this! Lord, may YOUR words flow and burn like a fire, and smash like a hammer that breaks the rocks in our lives to pieces (Jeremiah 23:29).
Here is an encouragement, especially during this season of chaos, confusion, aggression and fear:
Every promise is for an appointed time, with an appointed purpose. Psalm 105:19 refers to Joseph, who was “tested” while waiting for the fulfillment of the dream he had regarding leading his brothers (Genesis 37-47). Joseph needed that time of molding and casting so that he could be the EXACT SHAPE NEEDED to lead a nation. Joseph was given a word – an utterance of God through a dream – and needed to be WEAPONIZED and molded before the word of the Lord would come to pass in his life. Joseph needed to be cast in this way because the Lord’s word to him was about more than just Joseph.
Some translations make it clear that Joseph’s character needed a refining. I know that is true, especially when reading about how Joseph actually responded to his dream by sharing it instead of stewarding it with the Lord. But the Father showed me that when I focus on “refining” of character, I actually miss the point entirely. This is why my idea of testing was completely wrong. He showed me that Joseph needed refining not because something was wrong with him or because he wasn’t good enough or lacking. Joseph needed refining because what God chose him to carry was of such weight, such greatness and such importance, God needed Joseph to be fully weaponized to walk in the glorious promises that the Lord had for him and for his nation.
Joseph needed wisdom. He needed to learn to stand in the face of temptation and maintain integrity. He needed humility to realize that his gifting was indeed not all about himself. His prophetic solutions in response to warning dreams saved not only an entire nation and people group, but also impacted history.
Our God IS a good Father. He’s good and He’s gracious and tender and full of love. He is never cruel or mean, and only gives us what is good for us (Matthew 7:9). The life of Joseph is still speaking to, mentoring and influencing humanity thousands of years later. Regardless of the cost, Joseph grew into one of the most amazing men in the Bible.
Dear ones…every promise of mine and yours has a Heavenly purpose, and that purpose is larger than we are. We may only see ourselves in the moment, but there are nations and generations that are affected when God manifests promises that He has made us.
I would encourage those who are in the waiting and being tested in this season to go back to the Lord and ask Him to lead you into the truth about your promise. Ask Him to open your eyes to see beyond yourself and beyond the fulfillment of it, and ask Him to show you what “shape” He is casting and refining you to be. Chances are, the word that He has spoken to you is weightier and more magnificent than you could even imagine. How mind-blowing to know that our promises are always for a time that has been appointed by a good God.
Whether a weapon against the forces of darkness, or a tool to smash through lies and strongholds in others, or a jewel to display the splendor of the King of Kings, we cannot despise this season of testing while waiting on the utterances of God to manifest. No matter what the cost, we MUST stay surrendered to the “casting,” and allow Him to shape us for maximum Kingdom impact.
May we always hold God to His word while waiting, and surrender fully to everything He has for us during that season – He loves that kind of faith!