This Faith Friday’s post explains a Hebrew word that helps to give us a different cultural picture or idea of hope. (I apologize last week’s post was so long: this one is much shorter!)
The word is QAVAH (Strong’s Reference number 6960) and it’s primary meaning is “to wait”. It’s the word used here:
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
Psalm 130:5 (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The primary idea behind QAVAH is to bind something together by twisting. If you have been waiting for something for a long time–healing, provision, comfort, hope–you may think, “That’s right! I certainly feel like life is twisted sometimes!” However, that is not what QAVAH means. The act of twisting two or more threads together is to make them stronger! Listen what happens to those who turn to God in the pain of their waiting:
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
So what happens while we are waiting? We cling to God; we put our hope in His promises. Our purposes become wrapped up in His; with nothing else to look to for fulfillment, we learn to delight ourselves in God and our desires come into alignment with His (Psalm 37:4).
The longer God has us waiting, the more attached to Him we become; that might even be the underlying reason for His allowing trials into our lives in the first place. Each one is an opportunity for us to bind ourselves to God. Once we are bound to Him–twisted together with Him–our hopes and dreams merge together with His words and we become strong enough to inherit what He has planned for us all along.
Even in the New Testament, the idea of being bound to God is reenforced:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
The yoke Jesus was talking about was the beam used to connect two Oxen that would walk at the same pace to plow a field evenly. It is in our waiting that we become bound to Christ and learn His steady, focused pace. We deal with the areas of our lives that are hard and brake them up; we take crooked lines and make them straight. We want to rush, but Jesus’ humble plodding keeps us in tow with the Father’s will for us; eventually, when the ground beneath us yields no indication of our future and looks the same as it does everyday, we learn to look up at the same focal point He does, the character of God, and move toward it.
For those whom [God] foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:29 (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
God wants us to be molded into the likeness of Jesus as we yoke ourselves to Him and bind ourselves to Him through our steady waiting. When we walk side-by-side with Jesus, enduring the trial of waiting, He imparts His character to us:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
The character we gain by binding ourselves to God through Christ in our waiting ultimately leads to…hope! This idea of waiting producing hope is reinforced by a word I want to discuss next week, TIQVAH. As we’ll see then, TIQVAH comes from the root QAVAH, confirming that true hope is developed when we bind ourselves to God and His words.
Are you waiting for God to do something in your life? Here are some suggestions how you can bind yourself to God day-by-day, step-by-step:
- Daily prayer; keeping a brief prayer journal often helps, as does using prayer cards. Ask God to help you to bind yourself to Him (that’s huge: there’s no way we can do it with our effort alone!)
- Daily worship; YouTube has lots of worship music videos with lyrics,I recommend the searches “Chris Tomlin lyrics“, “Matt Redman lyrics“, and “Aaron Keyes lyrics“.
- Daily Bible reading; YouVersion is great and has a selection of reading plans and devotionals you can customize,
- Regular study/further reading. Read Bible-based books on prayer, worry, waiting, etc. Get involved in a group study at a Church or other Christian organization (like Community Bible Study) that provides structure for personal study during the week. This will provide a great support group and other examples of how people are binding themselves to God through their waiting.
- Practice intimacy with God 24/7: learn to talk to God throughout the day, confiding your thoughts and feelings to Him every chance you get (bathroom breaks are a good opportunity to refocus your thoughts on Him).
- Practice belief in the face of difficulty: Apply the promises of the Bible to each situation that looks dead and hopeless by speaking them out loud, writing them down on index cards and posting them throughout your home as reminders, and including them in your study, prayer, and praise. There are a variety of God’s Promises books (for the Graduate, for Moms, etc.); they have topically-arranged contents that make it easy to find the promise that matches the situation you are going through.
- Have regular alone-times where you can do these things; get up earlier than the rest of your family or stay up later; pray and sing to worship music on your commute; eat your lunch in an isolated place where you can read the Bible (I read it on my smart phone through YouVersion). Sometimes I put on a DVD for the girls to watch if I get up too late to have my “Quiet Time” before they wake up and I go to another room to sing, read, and pray.
I know that if I don’t bind myself to God daily, the pressures of this life will pull me in too many directions and my hope for the future will begin to fray. Waiting EXPECTANTLY on God through reading, prayer, and worship binds me back together with His plan for me and helps me to have strength to face the day! Why don’t you wait on God today and see what binding yourself to Him will do for your hope-filled future?
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