Month 5:1, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5936:119 AM|
ROSH CHODESH V (Chamashee haChodesh)
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 19 July 2012
Rosh Chodesh V
Tiqvah - Hope
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to this assembly to hear what Yahweh has to share with us for this fifth month! I received a clear message this morning to speak to you about tiqvah or hope and was given today's passage in the Book of Job.
"If a tree is cut down, there is hope that it will sprout again and fresh shoots will not fail. Though its roots grow old in the earth, and its stump is dying in the ground, if it scents water it may break into bud and make new growth like a young plant" (Job 14:7-9, NEB).
Hope is a psychological necessity if man is to envisage the future with all of its uncertainties. We live in a world undergoing rapid political and social change as the élites rush headlong into trying to create a one world dictatorship. Natural and human-made disasters, coupled with accelerating economic collapse that will forever change the West and indeed the whole world, are leaving people in a sense of desperation. Right now the USA is going through a terrible drout while Britain and most of the rest of Europe is experiencing heavy rain and flooding. Both are ruining crops that will impact the cost of food in the year to come.
For the first time the First World is beginning to look like the Third World in places. The number of homeless is growing, tent cities are mushrooming all over the USA, and cities like Chicago are disintegrating into anarchy - with a police force of only 400, they are facing gangs in the hundreds of thousands. Expect all of this to get much, much worse for this is only the beginning of such woes.
Today's passage speaks of trees - which represents people - being cut down or humbled because of their sins. We remember the story of proud King Nebuchadnezzar whom Yahweh felled when he boasted of his imperial greatness. Were we to look down on the world from above and people were represented as trees, we would probably see billions of tree stumps - masses of people without hope desperately trying to survive. The world has been - and is still being - ravaged by a tiny greedy élite who want all the wealth and whow ant to turn the masses into a slave class once they have culled them by about 90%.
How can one live in such a world and find any sort of meaning? How is one to find hope? Today's passage reminds us that the human soul has only got to scent the tiniest whiff of water - that is, life - that though it be cut down and be no more than a stub, it can and will spring back into life. So what is this hope? How shall be identify it and how shall we obtain a continuous supply of it?
Though emunah (faith, trusting) and tiqvah (hope) are not the same thing, they are closely connected. Emunah (faith) is to have a surety about something that has happened and what Yahweh says is true in the here and now. By contrast, tiqvah (hope) is surety of something to come, believing in the Elohim (God) who has promised it. Biblical emunah (faith) - the surety of that promised thing - is different from the 'hope' people often express in today's English language. When your average unbelieving person on the street speaks of 'hope' he is usually speaking of somethingb he would like to have but can have no surety: 'I hope Aunt Agatha brings me a present tomorrow'. Emunah (faith) and tiqvah (hope) cannot take the place of the other.
It is in the nature of man that even if there are no rational grounds for it, he still continues to hope. Very naturally such hope, even when it appears to be justified, is transient and illusiory. It is remarkable how often it is qualified by poets and other writers by such epithets as 'faint', 'trembling', 'feeble', 'desperate' and 'phantom'. And whilst the Bible sometimes uses hope in the conventional sense, it is principally used in a supernatural way. Thus the ploughman should plough in hope (1 Cor.9:10), for it is the hope of reward that sweetens labour. But this is very different with the tiqvah (hope) that the Bible is mostly concerned with, and in comparison with the everyday sort of hope it is something very different and is scarcely recognisable.
The majority of secular thinkers in the ancient world did not regard hope as a virtue, but merely a temporary illusion, so Paul was giving an accurate description of pagans when he said they had no hope (Eph.2:12; cp. 1 Thes.4:13), and the fundamental reason for this being that they were without Elohim (God).
Where there is belief in a living Elohim (God), who acts and intervenes in human life, and who can be trusted to implement His promises, tiqvah (hope) in the specifically biblical sense becomes possible. Such tiqvah (hope) is not a matter of temprements, nor is it conditioned by prevailing circumstances or any human possibilities. It does not depend on what a man possesses, upon what he may be able to do for himself, nor upon what any other human being may do for him.
There was, for example nothing in the situation in which Abraham found himself to justify his hope that Sarah would give birth to a son, but because he believed in Yahweh, he "contrary to hope, in hope believed" (Rom.4:18, NKJV). Biblical tiqvah (hope) is therefore inseparable from emunah (faith) in Yahweh. Because of what Yahweh has done in the past, particularly in preparing for the coming of Messiah, and because of what Yahweh has done and is now doing through Messiah, the believer dares to expect future blessings at present invisible:
The goodness of Elohim (God) is for him never exhausted. The best is yet to come. His tiqvah (hope) is increased as he reflects on the activities of Yahweh in the Scriptures (Rom.11:12; 15:4). Messiah in him is the hope of future glory (Col.1:27). His final salvation rests upon such tiqvah (hope) (Rom.8:24); and this tiqvah (hope) of salvation is a 'helmet', an essential part of his defensive armour in the struggle against evil (1 Thes.5:8).
"Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in Elohim (God) who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us" (2 Cor.1:9-10, NKJV).
Tiqvah (hope), to be sure, is not a kite at the mercy of the changing winds, but "an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast" (Heb.6:19, NKJV), penetrating deep into the invisible eternal world (Heb.6:19). Because of his emunah (faith) the believer has an assurance that the things he hopes for are real (Heb.11:1); and his tiqvah (hope) never disappoints him (Rom.5:5).
There are, perhaps surprisingly, no explicit references to tiqvah (hope) in the teachings of Yah'shua (Jesus). He teaches His talmidim (disciples), however, not to be anxious about the future, because that future is in the hands of a loving Father. He also leads them to expect that after His resurrection renewed spiritual power will be available for them, enabling them to do even greater works than He did, to overcome sin and death, and to look forward to sharing His own eternal glory. The resurrection of Yah'shua (Jesus) revitalised their tiqvah (hope). It was the mightiest act of Elohim (God) wrought in history. Before it 'panic and despair flee away'. Christian/Messianic emunah (faith) is essentially emunah (faith) in Yahweh who raised Yah'shua (Jesus) from the dead (1 Pet.1:21). This Elohim (God) toward whom the believer directs his emunah (faith) is called "the Elohim (God) of tiqvah (hope)" (Rom.15:13), who can fill the believer with simcha (joy) and shalom (peace), and enable him to abound in tiqvah (hope). Because of the resurrection, the believer is saved from the miserable condition of having his tiqvah (hope) in Messiah limited to this world only (1 Cor.15:19). Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) is his Tiqvah (Hope) for time and eternity (1 Tim.1:1). His call to be Yah'shua's (Jesus') talmid (disciple) carries with it the tiqvah (hope) of finally sharing His glory (Eph.1:18). His tiqvah (hope) is laid up for him in heaven (Col.1:5), and will be realised when his Master is revealed (1 Pet.1:13).
The existence of this tiqvah (hope) makes it impossible for the believer to be satisfied wuith transient pleasures and happinesses (Heb.13:14). It also acts as a stimulus to purity in life (1 Jn.3:2-3), and enables him to suffer cheerfully. It is noticeable often that tiqvah (hope) is associated in the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) with patience or steadfastness. This virtue is vastly different from Stoic endurance, precisely because is it bound up with a tiqvah (hope) unknown to the Stoic .
In the light of these things it is not surprising that tiqvah (hope) should so often be mentioned as a concomitant of emunah (faith). The heroes of emunah (faith) in Hebrews 11 are also because of tiqvah (hope). What is perhaps more remarkable is the frequent association of tiqvah (hope) with ahavah (love) as well as with emunah (faith). This threefold combination of emunah (faith), tiqvah (hope) and ahavah (love) is found in many places (1 Thes.1:3; 5:8; Gal.5:5-6; 1 Cor.13:13: Heb.6:10-12; 1 Pet.1:21-22). By its connection with ahavah (love), Christian/Messianic tiqvah (hope) is freed from all selfishness. The believer does not hope for blessings for himself which he does not desire others to share. When he loves his fellow-men he hopes that they will be the recipients of the tov (good) things that he knows Yahweh longs to give them. Paul gave evidence of his tiqvah (hope) just as much as his ahavah (love) and emunah (faith) when he returned the runaway slave Omesimus to his master Philemon. Emunah (faith), tiqvah (hope) and ahavah (love) are inseparable. Tiqvah (hope) cannot exist apart from emunah (faith), and ahavah (love) cannot be exercised without tiqvah (hope). These three are things that abide (1 Cor.13:13), and together they comprise the Christian/Messianic way of life.
C.S. Lewis, addressing the subject of tiqvah (hope), said:
"Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.
"At present we are on the outside… the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the pleasures we see. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Someday, Elohim (God) willing, we shall get “in”… We will put on glory… that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.
"We do not want to merely “see” beauty–though, Elohim (God) knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it."
This is the hope of better things of which we get occasional glimpses by emunah (faith) but which we feel strongly when it is present but which leaves us empty and depressed when it is absent. Tiqvah (hope) is a spiritual power that comes from Elohim (God) Himself - you can feel it, know it, and identify it, and it comes with emunah (faith) and ahavah (love) intermingled. This tiqvah (hope) gives us not only a reason to live but also the means to thrive in every situation, good and bad. It transcends this sphere, belonging to and descending from, a higher one from which the soul has come and to which the soul desires to return. And it shall, by the by.
Yahweh would that you and I have more tiqvah (hope) by trusting in Him and by embracing and sharing His ahavah (love) in all emet (truth) in divine tavnith (pattern) according to the Torah. Amen
 See especially 1 Thes.1:3 and Rom.5:3-5
Important Scriptures on Tiqvah (Hope)
All quotations are from the ESV:
Proverbs 24:20 for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
Proverbs 24:14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares Yahweh, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Hope of Eternal Life and Salvation
Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of Elohim (God) and an apostle of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), for the sake of the faith of Elohim's (God’s) elect and their knowledge of the emet (truth), which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which Elohim (God), who never lies, promised before the ages began
Titus 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in Messiah we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the Elohim (God) and Father of our Masterr Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ)! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) from the dead,
Hope from the Book of Romans
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of Elohim (God). More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because Elohim's (God’s) love has been poured into our hearts through the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) who has been given to us.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:13 May the Elohim (God) of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) you may abound in hope.
Hope in the Midst of a Crisis
Psalm 27:4-5 One thing have I asked of Yahweh, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of Yahweh and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
Mark 5:35-36 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Yah'shua (Jesus) said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Reasons To Hope Quotes
Numbers 23:19 Elohim (God) is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Zephaniah 3:17 Yahweh your Elohim (God) is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
John 4:13-14 Yah'shua (Jesus) said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Example of Hope in the Bible
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.
Hope and Faith Together
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction (evidence) of things not seen.