What Does Tarry Mean In The Bible

In the Bible, the word ‘tarry’ has a very specific meaning. It is used to denote an act of waiting and/or lingering. The Bible includes numerous instances of people being told to tarry. At its core, the word means to wait and is almost always associated with being obedient.

Hebrew Roots of Tarry

The word ‘tarry’ first appears in the Old Testament of the Bible, according to its Hebrew roots. In the original Hebrew, the word was rendered as ‘qavah’ or ‘qavah’ which is derived from the root word ‘qavah’ which means ‘to wait’. The term ‘tarry’ comes from this root word and is linked to concepts such as ‘waiting on God’ or ‘hanging in there’.

Common Uses of Tarry in the Bible

Tarry appears 52 times in the Bible and in the context of the Bible, tarry is often used to refer to times when people must patiently wait for God to act on their behalf. This is helpful to remember, especially in difficult times. The following are some of the common uses of the word tarry in the Bible:

  • Genesis 8:7 – When the raven was sent out by Noah to find signs of land but failed to return, Noah sent out a dove and told it, “Tarry not but return unto me”
  • Genesis 19:27 – Lot told his daughters, “Tarry ye not” to warn them to flee quickly from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Exodus 23:33 – The Lord commands the Israelites, “Tarry ye not in any place” to ensure they keep moving as it was important for them to reach the Promised Land quickly
  • Psalm 130:5 – The psalmist says, “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth tarry” as a way of expressing his faith in God and his understanding of God’s perfect timing
  • Luke 24:49 – Jesus tells his disciples, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem…”, which is now known as the Great Commission and marks the beginning of the Christian church.

The Significance of Tarry

The word tarry is used throughout the Bible in many different contexts. It emphasizes the importance of consciously waiting and abiding in patience despite any testing circumstances one may experience. It reminds us to look to God in faith and remain steadfast in our relationship with Him and trust in His timing and plan.
The notion of tarrying is important and significant because it is a reminder to be obedient and recognize that God can handle each situation with greater skill and wisdom than we can. Oftentimes, waiting on God is more of a test of faith than anything else – especially in times of trial and challenge. The ancient Hebrews and those of other cultures saw this waiting as a form of purification, in that patience and faith is required to bear ‘the purifying fire’.

Benefits of Tarrying in the Bible

Those who commit to waiting and tarrying, who maintain their trust and hope in God and who call upon Him regularly despite any difficult circumstances, will experience several benefits.
Firstly, tarrying instills inner peace and hope in those who take it to heart. Waiting patiently on God and trusting in His perfect timing and plan puts the issues of life into perspective, easing worry, stress and tension. It helps one to stay established in their faith and have unwavering trust and belief in God.
Secondly, tarrying builds endurance and strength. It develops resolve and teaches one how to withstand an array of extreme challenges without crumbling. It gives people the courage to keep pushing for increased spiritual growth and to stay focus when the going gets tough.

Challenges of Tarrying in the Bible

Tarrying can be difficult for some. It challenges us to stay the course and hold fast to our faith. It can also be a test of patience and obedience, especially when it comes to circumstances we don’t understand.
In certain cases, the trials and challenges of tarrying in the Bible can push us to the brink of despair. We may struggle to comprehend why God isn’t answering our prayers and why our lives are not turning out the way we hope they would. It is easy to forget our blessings and focus on the pain instead.
This is why it is important to recognize that God always has a plan, a divine plan. It is only through His plan and will that we can expect to persevere with grace and purpose and that is why we need to remain anchored in the hope of God’s promises and the faith of His word.

It Takes Faith to Tarry

Tarrying is a difficult yet noble practice and it takes faith to wait on the Lord and trust in His perfect timing. As the Bible says, “The Lord is good to those that wait for him…” (Lamentations 3:25) Waiting can be hard, but it isn’t for nothing. If we approach it in the right frame of mind, we can prepare to receive the great blessings God has in store for us.

Tarry and Persevere Throughout the Bible

The Bible shows us again and again how tarrying is an essential part of our spiritual development. Abraham, Joseph and Moses all waited on the Lord before they could move forward and all of them succeeded in their lives as a result. Other heroes of the Bible, such as Noah, Joshua and David had to wait on God at some point in their lives as well, but thanks to their faith and patience, they were able to observe God’s faithfulness.
These are only a few examples of characters who waited and persevered with great faith. We too can learn this lesson and have faith that the Lord will work in our lives in His perfect timing.

Tarry To Find Strength & Comfort in Dark Times

Tarrying is mentioned in the Bible so frequently because it is a reminder to us that God is at work and in control, even in the darkest of times. No matter how difficult the test, the Lord will provide a way forward. All we must do is take the time to wait and trust in the perfect plan God has for us.

Tarry for Breakthroughs and God’s Promises

When we wait patiently and faithfully on God, we can expect to receive breakthroughs, answers, comfort and healing. The time we spend tarrying can become a source of great strength to us as it brings us closer to the Lord and allows us to see Him in a new light. Tarrying is also a way to show our commitment to God’s promises and to build upon our faith so we can weather any storm that may come our way.

The Character Building Power of Tarry

Tarrying brings about great character building strength and perseverance. It forces us to depend on God, to be proactive and to maintain a sense of urgency. It also enables us to learn what it means to have faith and to trust in His timing.
At the end of the day, tarrying on God is essential because it reminds us to remember who is in control and to be obedient to Him and His word. Tarrying gives us hope, assurance and peace and helps us see the good in every situation.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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