Understanding Bible Hope

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A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day March 8, 2019

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope” (Psalm 130:5).

One of the greatest hurts that can ever be experienced is living without hope. Hope is the spiritual force that keeps us moving forward. It fills each day with anticipation, excitement, and joy. With hope there is life, but when hope is stolen and our dreams are crushed, we are left with emptiness. Hopelessness brings the pain of loneliness and despair. The feeling of failure becomes almost unbearable. The Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12).

However, there is hope for your life. You can break free from the heaviness and fog that is trying to pull you into darkness. Like sunshine flooding a room when the curtains are pulled back, hope will flood your soul, and you will see the possibilities that the light exposes when you discover the truth that has been hidden from you.

God has a plan for your life, and His plan is glorious. While the forces of darkness want to torment you and pull you down, the truth will illuminate the promises of God. The truth will lift you up and set you free. There is hope for you.

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

In the Hebrew language, the word for hope is tikvah. In Strong’s Concordance it is defined as expectation, hope and everything that I long for, but literally as a cord. Hope is different than wishing and desire. Hope expects to obtain what is hoped for. Qavah is the root word in Hebrew that it comes from. Qavah means not only to expect, but to patiently wait and eagerly look for. It also means to collect, bind together. Patient waiting is always a part of hope.

In English, the word hope is more of an abstract thought, but in Hebrew the definition gives a solid visual image of a bound cord, rope, or thread. Not only can the cord be seen, but it is an object we can grasp firmly with our hands. Hebrew Bible hope is not abstract, but something that we can cling to or hold onto.

In the Bible when the two Hebrew spies entered Jericho and encountered Rahab, they swore that if she would tie a cord of scarlet thread in the window that her entire household would be spared from the impending attack. In Joshua 2:21 we are told that as the spies departed, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line (tikvah) of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home” (Joshua 2:17-18).

In this story, the Hebrew word tikvah is translated as cord (or line) and it gives us a visual image of how hope should be viewed. Rahab placed her hope in the word of the two spies and more specifically in the scarlet thread. It was the visual covenant that she and her household would be spared when the Israelites conquered Jericho. The cord was visible, but she still had to wait for the actual manifestation of the spies’ promise.

This story of Rahab reveals how Bible hope should be understood. Too often people forget that hope is rooted in waiting. While it is not often easy to wait, hope and patience by their very nature imply that waiting is necessary. For Rahab, the cord in the window represented her hope, and she trusted that she would see what she believed.

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Romans 8:25)

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)

 

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