So far we have covered 8 of the 10 MIQVEH verses in Scripture. Only two more to go (although I am contemplating going over each of the MIQVEH verses in Jeremiah in context and then a MIQVEH wrap-up or overview for a “broad picture” look at what that hope means for us today…so that’s perhaps another five posts. We’ll see!) The fifth occurrence of MIQVEH in Scripture is found in a prayer by the most famous King in the Old Testament:
For we are strangers before You, and sojourners, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope or expectation of remaining.
1 Chronicles 29:15, Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
King David spoke these words as part of his exuberant prayer of praise to God; the people had responded to David’s generosity in donating his wealth and resources to building the Temple by bringing similarly sacrificial offerings. Everything had been set up for Solomon, David’s son, to succeed him. The day after David praised God for the outpouring of riches and splendor, Solomon was confirmed as King and reigned in his father’s place. David had lived to see his son sit on the throne in a peaceful transition from one administration to the next: a rarity in that culture and time.
David had come to realize a very important truth that Solomon would later spend the majority of his life ignoring: we can’t live (here) forever. David acknowledged that he had no “MIQVEH” of remaining. Unlike his father, Solomon never had to hide in a cave for his life. He fought neither the bear nor the lion as his father had done as a child-shepherd. Solomon was surrounded by peace and riches for the majority of his life; a surprisingly deceptive circumstance that left him unprepared for his departure. Yet David, his father, was fully prepared to pass from the scene. Solomon died a disenfranchised and “back-slidden” cynic; David died full of hope for a future he had no control of. What was the difference? David knew God personally.
There is significance in the use of the word MIQVEH in the verse above: we have already discussed that MIQVEH means to gather something together in a collection or reservoir. This provides vivid imagery in understanding what hope is: MIQVEH speaks of the source on which our hopes and dreams depend, the substance of our hope. Imagine that a plate of water is set before you and you use your fingers to gather it together; will it stay put? Can you grasp that water in your hand and keep it? For a short time, perhaps, but it runs and dries out too quickly. It has no MIQVEH of remaining. That is what you and I are like: we cannot keep it together in this place! We cannot anchor our lives in this plane of existence. Like it or not, we are going to pass from this scene. We cannot hold onto this life no matter how hard we grasp at it.
Jesus spoke about those who hold onto this life too tightly by gathering and storing all their hopes into this material place:
Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
Matthew 6:1-4, The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Solomon put his MIQVEH into horses and material possessions, forgetting Who had given him those blessings and the futility of storing up the wealth for someone else to take advantage of! For all his wisdom, Solomon became darkened in his understanding because he looked to a scatterer of light as though it were its source. Everything you and I can see is scattering or reflecting light; if you hold your wallet close to your eyeballs, it will become dark because it is now blocking light from entering your eyes. If you hold it back so it scatters the light from a lamp or ambient light, you can see it. God wants to meet our needs, but His blessings are not a substitute for their Source! The blessings we ask Him for ought to reflect Him to us, not become a substitute for God so we may use them as if we were God! If our ultimate desire is not for “his kingdom and his righteousness”, then we are very darkened in our souls indeed.
It is easy to understand that principle with material possessions, but harder to see it with our attitude toward the hereafter. After all, how can we invest in a future we’ve never seen? What’s the point system associated with my good deeds? How do I know what to expect after I die? How may I die in hope if I have no hope of remaining? I think we invest in this life by default, out of fear of the unknown; it is easier to put death and the afterlife out of mind and focus on subscribing to some arbitrary system of success than it is to contemplate how my soul is really doing and how hope-filled my future is really going to be.
But there is hope.
We may not be able to hold onto this life by storing up treasures and living here forever, but we can experience a new life both here on earth and in the hereafter:
You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?
John 11:25 The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
We may not have any MIQVEH of remaining by ourselves, but guess what? We don’t need it! Jesus is our MIQVEH; in Him we have all the hope we need! He is the Source of our eternal life! That’s why believing in the resurrection (coming back to life, a dynamically different life) is essential to being “saved”:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
It is that resurrection life in Jesus that gives us hope for salvation! His resurrection is the basis of our claim to eternal life! That life isn’t just useful for eternity, either: it is good for the “here-and-now”:
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.
Philippians 3:10 New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.
John 17:3 Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Knowing God, having a relationship with him right now, allowing the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to live in you and change your life, is having eternal, limitless life within you. With that Source of Life available to us, how could we replace that with wealth or scraping to “get ahead”? You and I have no MIQVEH of remaining in this fallen world with its broken systems; if you have become aware of the dullness and darkness associated with the unattainable pursuit of happiness apart from the love and life of God, why not devote yourself to the pursuit of knowing Him as David did? Then you will be able to say as David did:
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13 New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
Through Jesus, you and I can come to know God. Through Him we have a MIQVEH, a hope, greater than any this world alone can provide!
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