Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, January 22, 2022
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Hope 31 – Final Words by David Harwood

Welcome to our last meditation on Hope. Although I consider all we’ve shared to be an introduction to this topic, I recognize that we’ve covered a lot. I hope you have been informed, encouraged, built up, and challenged. My desire is that your vision would be captivated by the eternal hope you have in the Messiah. It is in the light of that certain hope that every holy temporal hope derives its virtue.

The whole Bible is a compilation of sacred texts that inspire eternal, and temporal, hope. Paul wrote:

For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through patience and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 TLV)

We could begin at the beginning of the Bible and find hope. We can go to the end of Revelation and find hope. Hope is between the covers of the Text. Unroll the scroll of hope. Meditate on His goodness and faithfulness. You will be strengthened. After all, when God revealed Himself in front of Moses, He said this:

Then Adonai passed before him, and proclaimed, “Adonai, Adonai, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth, showing mercy to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means leaving the guilty unpunished, but bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6–7 TLV)

This is the God who became flesh. This is the nature of Yeshua. He gives grace for grace and is the source of true hope. He is called, “Messiah Yeshua, our hope (1 Timothy 1:1 TLV).”

Let’s begin to end these series of meditations with some hopeful benedictions. The foundational blessing is one I have reiterated, or referenced, thirty-eight times.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in trusting, so you may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13 TLV)

God is not embarrassed to be called the God of Hope. I believe He rejoices when His children hope in Him.

Romans 15:13 is a wonder-filled blessing. Through our trust in Him, our Father will fill us with joyful, peaceful, overflowing hope. He is worthy of our expectation. We will be enabled by His Ruach ha-Kodesh to trust Him and expect His redemptive activity.

Also, our “hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5a TLV).” We are those who boast in the expectation of being transformed to that which can only be described as the glory of God. (Romans 5:2 TLV)

Therefore, having been made righteous by trusting, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshuathe Messiah. Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. (Romans 5:1–2 TLV)

We have the certain hope of being raised from the dead according to the pattern God established in His Son.

And if the Ruach of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Ruach who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 TLV)

You can hope to be glorified with Yeshua.

And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah—if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:17 TLV)

You can expect to be transformed and share His glory.

For our citizenship is in heaven, and from there we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. He will transform this humble body of ours into the likeness of His glorious body, through the power that enables Him even to put all things in subjection to Himself. (Philippians 3:20–21 TLV)

Along these lines, here’s another hope-filled benediction.

Now to the One who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Yeshua the Messiah our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time. both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24–25 TLV)

What is the basis of our hope? God’s capacity motivated by His love for us. He can keep us from stumbling. He loves us and wants to preserve us. He can cause us to stand before His glorious throne “blameless with great joy.” He loves us and it is His purpose to do this. He is God, our Father, whose love motivated Him to be our Savior. He is the one who sent the Messiah to accomplish our salvation. In the light of this certain expectation let us give God the confident worship He is due. Let’s look forward to the Messiah’s return and the liberty that shall be ours.

Paul assured the believers that God would accomplish His saving purposes. This is the tenth time I’m citing what Paul wrote to the young believers in Thessalonica. It is a faith-filled declaration praising the God of Hope’s faithfulness.

Faithful is the One who calls you—and He will make it happen! (1 Thessalonians 5:24 TLV)

We are not intimidated by the type of circumstances which might crush a nonbeliever. Here is a testimony established in the prayers of Israel:

Surely I trust that I will see the goodness of Adonai in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13 TLV)

To me, it seems like a pattern. Our Messiah told Lazarus’ sister Martha to expect to see God’s glory as a result of trusting the God of glory. What Yeshua said reads to me like, “Don’t despair, Martha. Believe that you will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living…”

Yeshua says to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 TLV)

Please take that pattern-foretelling to heart. Expect it. Believe and you will see, too.

I recognize that the thought of embracing such a hope can activate a reflexive rejection of that promise. If that is the case with you, recognize that your heart is sick because of “hope deferred.” (Proverbs 13:12 TLV) Here’s some good news. Yeshua heals the sick-at-heart. In fact, He heals the brokenhearted.

When the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

“The Ruach Adonai is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor.”

He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue were focused on Him. Then He began to tell them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:17–21 TLV)

Rely on Him. Trust God. Nobody has to remain in the valley of despair. You can determine to hope in God.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 42:12 TLV)

Paul pointed out the way through utter spiritual exhaustion. He thought they’d reached a dead end. But they lifted their eyes to the one who raised Yeshua from the dead. The Messiah’s resurrection is the ultimate pattern of God’s activity.

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our trouble that happened in Asia. We were under great pressure—so far beyond our strength that we despaired even of living. In fact, we had within ourselves the death sentence—so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8–9 TLV)

You can decide to hope. Abraham has been pointed out to us as being our example of overcoming.

In hope beyond hope, he trusted that he would become the father of many nations according to what was spoken—“So shall your descendants be.” And without becoming weak in faith, he considered his own body—as good as dead, since he was already a hundred years old—and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. Yet he did not waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God. Rather, he was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. He was fully convinced that what God has promised, He also is able to do. (Romans 4:18–21 TLV)

So, continually wait on the LORD. Gently encourage others to hope. Fellowship with those whose hope is strong. You’ll be glad you did.

Remember, your faith will be rewarded. Hope is the expectation of possessing what you believe you have already received. (Hebrews 11:1 TLV)  Believe God. Hope continually and praise Him more and more. You’ll live to testify to God’s goodness in the land of the living. (Psalm 71:14-16 TLV)

God bless you. Marana, tha! Our Lord, come!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in trusting, so you may overflow with hope in the power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. (Romans 15:13 TLV)

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 22-Jan-2022 20th of Sh’vat, 5782 Parashat Yitro
Ex 20:15-23 Isa 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6 Matt 5:13-20