Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, November 13, 2021
Shabbat Shalom,

Hope 24 – Hope’s Actions 1 by David Harwood

We have briefly examined the following verses. The first leads to life-giving illumination. The second is a blessing.

Here is the instruction:

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)

This is the benediction:

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)

It seems to me that these verses are insightful keys.

First (15:4), we find that through the Scriptures we may actively seek to apprehend empowered Hope. Secondly, we read that we can position ourselves to receive an impartation of Hope (15:13).

We get the opportunity to actively build our Hope (15:4). We also become recipients of the Ruach ha-Kodesh’s activity (15:13), He who strengthens our Hope.

We are called to be active and engage our minds (15:4). We are called to be passive and wait in the presence of the Active One (15:13).

We are called to pursue:

Meditate on the Scriptures to strengthen our hope (Romans 15:4).

We are encouraged to wait:

Spend time in God’s presence and our hope will be strengthened (Romans 15:13).

Although we need both, this meditation will focus on an introduction to waiting on the LORD. Let’s begin to consider this topic.

Waiting and Hope

Recognize, the God of Hope is purposeful. He desires to fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him. The result of that empowerment is that we will rejoice in confident expectation: exulting in the Hope of experiencing God’s glory (Romans 5:2b). We avail ourselves of His determination to empower our holy anticipation.

Earlier in Romans (4:18-21), Paul described the development of Abraham’s victorious Hope. Abraham a) held on to God’s promise, b) considered the promise as being more substantial than all adverse circumstances, c) gave glory to God in advance as he d) maintained his expectation that God’s promise would be fulfilled (Hope).

Here’s that section. Please read it slowly.

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. That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:18-21 TLV)

The epitome of Hoping in the LORD is found in Paul’s description of Abraham. Have you ever determinedly done this? At times I need to pay attention to this instruction.

Now, I’m going to suggest that, in order to strengthen your Hope, you take action. The priority action I’m asking you to embrace is waiting on the LORD. Seriously, sometimes the best thing we can do is to “do” nothing and make room for God.

Tikvah – Hope

Here is a small section of Scripture that serves the purpose of offering instruction while it promises a wonderful result. It contains a popular, favorite verse.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from Adonai, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Adonai is the eternal God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, and to one without vigor He adds might. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31 but they who wait for Adonai will renew their strength. They will soar up with wings as eagles. They will run, and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:27–31 TLV)

What  is this well-known verse? It is verse 31. Please review it.

31 but they who wait for Adonai will renew their strength. They will soar up with wings as eagles. They will run, and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint.  (Isaiah 40:31 TLV)

Sometimes we get spiritually exhausted. Our faith fails. Our Hope fades. We can combat that by purposefully resting in God. We can, by means of our trust, behold Him and stay in that spiritual posture.

The Complete Jewish Bible offers a translation that emphasizes the relationship between waiting and HOPE.

but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength (40:31a CJB)

The New English Translation puts 31a like this:

Those who wait for the LORD’s help find renewed strength (40:31a NET)

Why would someone wait for the LORD? Because they Hope-expect that He will act.

Those who wait for Adonai, Hope-expecting Him to respond, will be strengthened in every aspect of life.

What a promise! What apt direction. One doesn’t need to be a prophet to know that someone needed to read this verse today. Maybe it was you.

The word translated “wait” comes from the Hebrew Kavah [קָוָה]. Kavah means “to wait or to look for with eager expectation.” It is the root of the important word: Tikvah. Tikvah is found in many foundational verses.

Meditate While we Wait

A new couplet!  Memorize this:

While you wait, “Meditate.”

You need not put forth an extraordinary effort to seek God as you seek to replenish your spiritual strength. You can simply open the Scriptures, ask for illumination, and begin to read. You’ll find that your soul gets fed. Read until you find something that once spoke to you. Read until you come across a section, or a sentence, that speaks to you now!

Consider it. Don’t rush. Bring the word to God and you’ll see the word become a living sword.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12a TLV)

Don’t forget that this sword is part of God’s equipment that is necessary to help you to stand in the midst of spiritual conflict.

… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17b TLV)

Don’t hesitate. Hurry up and wait. As you wait, meditate. If you’re wondering about a good place to begin, consider Isaiah 40:31.

31 but they who wait for Adonai will renew their strength. They will soar up with wings as eagles. They will run, and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint.  (Isaiah 40:31 TLV)

What a wonderful promise.

Worship While We Wait

When we are Hoping we are actively anticipating, awaiting, the fulfillment of promise. We are earnestly waiting for what we are sure is coming. This section in Isaiah encourages us to wait on the LORD while awaiting the fulfillment of what we have already received by faith. As the Messiah, Yeshua, said:

For this reason I say to you, whatever you pray and ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 TLV)

There can be times that we may want to give up Hope. We can have a firm grasp on a promise we’ve received, or a principle we’ve believed, and begin to feel it slip through our fingers. We can feel like helpless victims of discouragement. Should that happen we may need to get a grip. How?

The prophets would direct us back to the God who made the promise, who revealed His purpose, and imparted foundational faith in the first place.

Remember Abraham’s battle described in Romans 4:18-21. I’m going to rehearse something you read earlier in this meditation in list form. Here it is:

1. Abraham held on to God’s promise.

2. Abraham considered the promise as being more substantial than all adverse circumstances.

3. Abraham gave glory to God in advance.

4. Abraham maintained his Hope-expectation that God’s promise would be fulfilled.

To reinforce our Hope we can wait for Adonai. As we do we will gain renewed strength.

In Romans 15, verses 4 and 13, we’ve been given two keys to build our hope. These keys to Hope are in our hands. Let’s use them.

And remember… While you wait, “Meditate.”

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sat 13-Nov-2021 9th of Kislev, 5782 Parashat Vayetzei

Ge 31:43-32:3 Hos 12:13-14:10 Joh 1:43-51