Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let Israel Hope

 7Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
 8And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. 
(Psalm 130:7-8, King James Version)

Let Israel Hope

Perhaps you have heard it said, "There is always hope." But, is there always hope? That depends entirely upon one's object of hope. The Psalmist said, "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." So, the object of Israel's hope was more important than the command to hope. For if the object of one's hope is not trustworthy, then there is no basis for one's hope.

"Israel," in the Old Testament, can often be interchanged for "believers" in the New Testament, who are sometimes called, "The Israel of God." We could rightly say, "Let believers hope in the Lord." When our trust is in the Lord, then there exists substance for our hope, for it is true that the Lord will never fail us, but will help and sustain us all of the days of our lives.

Why, then, do believers often find themselves in hopeless situations? Is this promise only valid at times, while at other times it is not? As a matter of fact, it is not unusual for a believer to find that when he or she makes a renewed commitment to serve the Lord, their life seems to fall apart. How can that be? Where is their God of hope?

God has not changed, nor is He absent, but He does have a reason for the circumstances He allows His children to experience. As people of the world, highly influenced by the world, we often have a warped sense of what the "perfect" life is all about. Like the world, we enjoy our pleasures, our health, and good friends, and a fabulous fortune would not hurt as well! Yet God does not view the "successful" Christian life from our perspective.

God, from the moment of conception (actually, from before time began), has a plan for the lives of His children. Throughout our entire lives He molds and shapes us so that we become more and more like Him, for that is the real goal in life, and even in death. Events and occurrences which we might view as bad may be exactly the best thing for us, as God moves and turns us in the way He would have us go. He does not indulge us as a parent may indulge a spoiled child, but He moves us in exactly the way we should go. Yet, in all of the trials He may send or allow, He is always right there beside us, comforting, guiding, correcting, and nurturing us.

This provides a comfort and peace that those of the world know nothing about. How fearful life must be if one considers all of life to be one chance after another. For the believer, nothing is left to chance, for God guides and sustains us in all things.

What is the ultimate end? The Psalmist expressed it in verse 8: "And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." How amazing is that? In the end, the believer is redeemed from all of his or her iniquities. In other words, because Christ has already paid the debt of our sins, we appear before God as holy and righteous, without any sin. Does that mean we can sin with abandonment? No! Because we love the Lord, our sins are a great grief to us, and the thought that the time will come when we will live in heaven with no sins charged to our name, and will no longer even be tempted to sin is an amazing thought, indeed! May the Lord truly hasten the day!

Go, then, today and be comforted by the Psalmist's words: "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous mercy."

God Bless You,

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