God writing through Paul says these three remain faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13). What is so important about hope that it would be included with faith and love? I understand love. It’s the greatest, after all, God is love. I understand faith because it is impossible to please God without it. What about hope? Why hope? I think hope is hard to pinpoint. We think of it as a mere wish, or desire, but in scripture it is defined as more. God gives us a word picture to help us understand hope. It’s found in Joshua chapter two.
Joshua sent two spies to scout out the city of Jericho. They stay at the house of Rahab. She hides them and then helps them escape, but before leaving she asks them for a sure sign. She asks them to spare her and her family from the coming destruction of the city. They agree and tell her the same rope they use to escape by she is to “tie the scarlet cord” in the window. The phase “tie the scarlet cord” is translated from the Hebrew word tiqvah. It means a cord, but elsewhere in scripture it is translated hope, meaning a sure expectancy. That was the sure sign given to her. A cord of hope or a cord of expectancy. A way of escape became a way of salvation. A sure sign from God. God is the source of our hope. It is in Him and nothing else, we should put our hope in, even if it seems to be a good thing. God will never disappoint, He can not lie (Num. 23:19).
What He did for Rahab, He still does today. God speaks a word of hope to the heart darkened by death and grief and says, “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” He gives us a promise of salvation and deliverance. Hope, a sure expectancy. We agree, believe and we gain Christ. God meets us right where we are. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit… (Rom. 5:5). This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…”(Heb. 6:19).
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Rev. Denise Much