Have you ever found yourself placing your hope in something other than God? Most of us have said, “Once I get that promotion, everything will be okay,” or “If I could just get healthy, that would fix everything,” or “When we move, then I’ll be happy.”
Like us, the ancient Israelites had a tendency to place their hope in all sorts of things: their kings, their neighbors’ false gods, and peace treaties with other nations.
But none of those things could satisfy them any more than a new job or a move can solve all our problems. Time and time again, God urged His people—through patriarchs, judges, and prophets—to hope in Him. He’s the only One who will never fail us (though at times His actions might surprise and even disappoint us).
By any measure, the Jewish people have had a turbulent history. Enemies have displaced them and even tried to wipe them from face of the earth.
But God has never forgotten them. He is, as Jeremiah declared, Miqweh Yisrael: “the hope of Israel.” This has been true in the past, and it’s true today. What’s more, it’s a covenant that will be forever true.
What about those of us who are not Abraham’s natural descendants but are his children by faith (see Romans 9–11)? “The hope of Israel” is our only real hope too.
So what does it mean, practically speaking, to hope in God? We use the word hope a lot of times when what we really mean is wish. Biblical hope is more than crossing our fingers while we rub our lucky rabbit’s foot. Biblical hope is confident expectation. To hope in the God of hope is to look your problems straight in the eyes, acknowledge them, and then place your confidence in God’s sure promises and certain character.
It’s tempting often to set our hope on earthly things: a financial portfolio, a certain political party or leader, a good career, a clean bill of health. But it’s important to remember that all these things are shaky, uncertain, and fleeting. Only God is worthy of our hope.
You can count on God because He always makes good on His promises.
What are the things (other than God) you routinely look to for security and salvation?