Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, November 20, 2021
Hope 25 – Waiting and Hoping by David Harwood
If you Hope, you wait. If you don’t Hope, you don’t wait. If you don’t wait you either try to make something happen through your fleshly efforts, or you despair.
Waiting on the LORD is better.
I want to return to the topic of waiting for God to act. To begin, this Scripture is still speaking to me.
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)
We can find out how ancient readers viewed this text. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint) seems to imply that as a result of waiting on the LORD there will be a transformation of some sort. Those who wait receive strength from God and the capacity to overcome. It seems like the translators saw a nuance behind the Hebrew’s intent. They indicated that those who patiently rely on Adonai will be changed so they might fly above their circumstances. They will “grow feathers”.
those who wait upon God will gain strength; they will sprout wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31a Lexham English Septuagint)
Here’s another verse from Isaiah that is alive to me. I hope it enlivens you.
Adonai, be gracious to us! We long for You. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of trouble. (Isaiah 33:2 TLV)
Sometimes our faith, and our subsequent expectations, are immediately fulfilled. It seems like God instantly intervenes. Often, when we Hope-expect to receive God’s activity, we must wait for Him. Sometimes He is waiting for us! Here’s an open secret that may strengthen your Hope: not only do we wait on God, but God is also waiting.
Therefore Adonai is longing to be gracious to you. Thus He will be exalted, so He may have mercy on you. For Adonai is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. (Isaiah 30:18 TLV)
Meanwhile, we can persevere in our determination to keep faith and anticipate. As we do, like Abraham, we can continually give God praise knowing that what He promised He is able to perform (Romans 4:18-22). That type of Hope-anticipation did not die with the patriarch. Look at this:
But I—I will hope continually and will praise You more and more. My mouth will recount Your justice and Your salvation all day, though I do not know the sum of them. I come because of the mighty deeds of Adonai my Lord. I will remember Your righteousness —Yours alone. (Psalm 71:14–16 TLV)
As we persevere it is good to recall and thank Him for what He’s done, determine to thank Him for what He’ll do, and continue to wait for the LORD to act.
I will praise You forever for what You have done. I will hope in Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of Your kedoshim. (Psalm 52:9 TLV)
The New English Translation puts it like this:
I will continually thank you when you execute judgment; I will rely on you, for your loyal followers know you are good. (Psalm 52:9a NET)
I recently read a bad joke. Here it is:
My new thesaurus is terrible.
Not only that, but it’s also terrible.
Friends, “waiting” can simply mean “waiting”. Waiting on God is confident, passive, reliance. God will show up. He is never late, you just have to wait. Those who wait are expectant. That is why they wait and don’t walk away. In the Scriptures, Waiting and Hope are often synonymous.
Here is a foundational verse quoting the Patriarch-Prophet, Jacob:
For your salvation I wait, Adonai! (Genesis 49:18 TLV)
And this is a living exhortation:
Wait for Adonai; Be strong, let your heart take courage; and wait for Adonai. (Psalm 27:14 TLV)
At times our need for God’s intervening love is something an entire community of believers experiences. These are verses describing corporate waiting and Hope.
Our soul waits for Adonai— He is our help and our shield. Our heart rejoices in Him, because we trusted in His holy Name. Let Your lovingkindness, Adonai, be upon us, as we have waited for You. (Psalm 33:20–22 TLV)
Those who faithfully rely upon God’s activity wait knowing they will ultimately be answered by the saving God.
Be still before Adonai and wait patiently for Him. … those who wait for Adonai— they will inherit the land. (Psalm 37:7a,9b TLV)
Note the relationship between waiting and resting. It’s there.
At times we’re tempted to take matters into our own hands. Everyone, at one time or another, is tempted to depart from the ways of the Lord. On the other hand, the psalmist exhorted his hearers to maintain their loyalty and faithfulness to God while waiting for Him to act.
Wait for Adonai and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. (Psalm 37:34 TLV)
To enable us to wait on the Lord, let’s pursue God for an impartation of spiritual strength.
His Ruach Imparts Hope
Paul emphasized that God desires to personally strengthen our Hope. Abba is the God of Hope from whom Hope proceeds. The manifestation of what we Hope for comes from Him. He is the trustworthy God who is Hope-worthy.
He cares for us and is vitally interested in our interior life. Father wants us filled with all joy and peace as we trust Him. Therefore He fills us. He wants joy and peace to be sustained through our Hope in Him. Therefore, He empowers us through His own Ruach’s activity.
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 is God’s active power that enables us to have an enhanced expectation which cannot be contained and will not be disappointed. This is Hope that overflows. We experience it through our communion with the God of Hope.
Our inner-beings are intended to experience peace. Anxieties militate against our relationship with God. Obviously, anxiety and Hope are at war. Father offers our souls rest. If you’re wondering how to receive this, well, here’s a way forward.
Repentance manifest in returning to God yields rest for our souls.
For thus says Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Israel: “By repentance and rest you are saved, in quietness and trust is your strength— (Isaiah 30:15a TLV)
The “good way” is available to the believer who can walk that road and find rest.
Thus says Adonai: “Stand in the roads and look. Ask for the ancient paths— where the good way is— and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16a TLV)
Yeshua promised and prophesied that all who came to Him would find rest for their souls.
Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 TLV)
Here’s a promise from Isaiah.
You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3 TLV)
The psalms state the same thing.
Surely God is my helper. My Lord is the supporter of my soul. (Psalm 54:6 TLV)
It is out of this place of restful trust that the Scriptures and the Ruach enhance our Hope. God’s love engenders our faith-trust and the Scriptures come alive as the Ruach ha-Kodesh strengthens our souls. This empowers our Hope.
Here’s an illustration and an exercise:
Think of your soul (at rest in God’s love) as a fireplace.
Think of the Scriptures as wood.
Stack the truth of the Word up in your soul.
Then comes the fire.
God’s Ruach shall cause the reality of God’s intentions to burn in you.
The flame lights up the darkness of your circumstances and its heat transforms the environment.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 20-Nov-2021 16th of Kislev, 5782 Parashat Vayishlach
Ge 36:20-43 Obad 1 1 Cor 5:1-13