According to his own statement Simeon would die a happy man. How many people can look death into the eye without blinking and are ready to pass on, no regrets, no looking back? The Bible records some examples, few and far between, with Simeon being one of them.
Not much is recorded about Simeon’s life, but we know from his words that he was eagerly expecting the Messiah. Around the time Jesus was born, the people of Israel suffered greatly under Roman oppression and were desperately awaiting a sign from God hoping to be set free. They were hoping for a prophet to arise, not unlike Moses, who would lead their nation into freedom. The last known prophet in Israel was Malachi, around 400 years before Christ was born. In Simeon’s time God seemed so very far away!
Like rain is received after a severe drought, that’s how Simeon must have soaked up God’s message after this long period of silence. God confirmed that He was very much alive! The restrictive political situation led many Israelites to exclusively focus on their nation’s liberation. However, when God answered their prayers, He went international – clearly beyond everybody’s wildest imagination. Simeon’s prophecy predicted a Redeemer who was going to be the Light of the world; God was going to reveal Himself globally, so that every single nation on this planet has the opportunity to be redeemed. The Glory of Israel brings salvation to all people!
Simeon is a great example of how one man’s prayer can touch countless lives. Similarly, the ripple effect of our prayers can make a profound difference in our neighborhood and even on a global level! When we cry out to God, He comes through for us, but it never ends there. The world around us is blessed in the process, because our timeless and eternal God always sees the bigger picture when He listens to our prayers. God is in the habit of exceeding all our expectations and to blow our minds. Isn’t this a great encouragement to keep on praying?
“But I know there’s sunshine behind that rain
I know there’s good times behind that pain
Can you tell me how I can make a change
I close my eyes and I can see a better day
I close my eyes and pray” (Justin Bieber)