For those who missed my writing a Faith Fridays post last week, I apologize! I received a rare opportunity to go to a Detroit Lions preseason football game with my husband; since I blog in my “spare” time, my whole day was fully booked (it was a great game and going to Ford Field is certainly a noteworthy experience) 🙂
This weeks’ Faith Fridays post follows the “Bound in Hope” post three weeks ago. I have already discussed that TIQVAH (Hope on a Rope) comes from QAVAH (to bind by twisting); today’s word likewise comes from the same verb root. There is one special purpose this seldom-used word has: to name God Himself.
So what is this word? MIQVEH. It means to gather together into a collection or reservoir; figuratively, it means to hope. There are three times that MIQVAH is used to name and describe God; for those with an eye for Biblical numbers, should stand right out as indicative of the Trinity!
This brings me to today’s point: Hope comes from the Trinity–One God in three distinct, symbiotic persons: Father (Will), Son (Embodiment), and Spirit (Power)–and He is the One Hope for all peoples!
So how does God reveal Himself through the word MIQVEH? The three instances are found in the book of Jeremiah:
O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble,
why are you like a stranger to us?
Why are you like a traveler passing through the land,
stopping only for the night?
Jeremiah 14:8 New Living Translation (NLT) copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
O Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who turn away from you will be disgraced.
They will be buried in the dust of the earth,
for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.
Jeremiah 17:13 New Living Translation (NLT) copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
All who found them devoured them.
Their enemies said,
‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them,
for they sinned against the Lord,
their true place of rest,
and the hope of their ancestors.’
Jeremiah 50:7 New Living Translation (NLT) copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
All three of these verses could be attributed to comments Jesus said about Himself; He is our Savior (Luke 19:10), Giver of living water (John 4:10-11) and rest (Matthew 11:28). I think one could also look at these verses in a Trinitarian way and see each Person clearly represented in the references; Jesus, God’s “Son”, is our Savior (1 John 4:14); The Holy Spirit is the fountain of Living Water, given by Jesus (John 7:37-39); The Father is our ultimate place of Rest, secured through Jesus (John 14:1-6; Hebrews 4:1-10).
The Triune God reveals Himself in the verses above as the Hope of Israel; He is the One Israel traditionally hoped to save and vindicate them. That Hope was partially fulfilled by Jesus who came to secure the spiritual salvation of the world, through Israel (Romans 9:5), that will ultimately result in a physical salvation of the world, through Israel (Romans 11:11-12).
It is easy to get hung up on geopolitcal Israel and eschatology without remembering that Israel is also a reference to all those who follow God by faith in His word. The Apostle Paul asserts that “true” (spiritual) Israel isn’t of those who are merely physical descendants of Abraham (Romans 9:6-8), but of those who are made righteous through faith in God as Abraham was (Galatians 3:6-9); Faithful Gentiles are grafted into “spiritual” Israel (Romans 11:17-21), whose namesake is the father of all those who wrestle with God in faith (Genesis 32:24-32) and receive a new identity (Galatians 6:15-16). All of this means that if you have put your faith in Israel’s Messiah, the Hope of Israel (Jesus), then He is your Hope too! You are included in the “people of God”, spiritual Israel.
Obviously, faith in Jesus is the key to securing this Hope, as we discussed in the last post on TIQVAH. Through Christ, God is the Hope of all believers, Jewish and Gentile. Paul explains this further in his letter to the Ephesians:
Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
Ephesians 2:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT) copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
Note the reference to each member of the Trinity in the last verse! Each person of the Trinity worked together as One to give us the same Hope as one group. It is because of the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus that Jews and Gentiles have access through the Holy Spirit to the Father. God is One Hope, One MIQVEH, for all people.
Have you gathered together all your hopes into One Place, One God, through Christ? Is He the limitless source or reservoir that you have fixed your hope on? If not, please pray this prayer:
God: I believe you are Father, Son, and Spirit.
Father, I have disobeyed Your will for me and put my hope in myself. Please forgive me and help me to do Your will as Jesus did. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me through Him. I believe you have a good plan for me.
Son–Jesus–my disobedience cost You Your life on the Cross. Please be my Savior: I accept the sacrifice You made to pay for my Sin. Since You have paid for my freedom with Your own blood, I acknowledge Your right to be Lord of my life. I believe you rose from the dead; help me to live a new life in the hope that the same power that raised You will raise me one day too.
Spirit, I want to have a new identity, to be a part of the family of faith, and receive power to wrestle through this life in faith, hope, and love. Help me to follow Jesus and teach others about Him. Let Your rivers of living water flow through me to bless a thirsty world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer in faith, I invite you to comment below! When we confess Jesus as Lord, having believed that He rose from the dead (i.e. He really Is Who He said He Is), we are “saved”. I sincerely hope you made that commitment today 🙂
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