The English language is very funny indeed. It is amazing how one word, even a very small one can change the meaning of other words! A very familiar Bible verse shows a grand example of this: Isaiah 40:31. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Many of us have heard this verse and sermons on it all of our lives, but many of these sermons were wrong. We see that the verse says, “…that wait upon the Lord…”. Many of these messages suggested that we “wait for The Lord.” The difference between the two is so simple, yet makes the truth very profound.
To wait for~ this is a passive verb, requiring no action at all (i.e. I am waiting for the light to turn green).
To wait upon/on~ this is an active verb, requiring action of the subject. (i.e. Our server did a great job waiting on us.). In this form wait upon is used as a term of service.
So as a thought “they that wait upon the the Lord” are those who are actively serving the Lord. Serving the Lord will bring about a renewed strength that only the Lord can provide. When pondering this thought remember Matthew 11:29-30
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.