My precious friend Mary Kathryn recently posted on the subject of hope.
Hope, she said, is sandwiched between faith and love. Such a beautiful picture.
And it so happens that my favorite verse has the word hope in it…
For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
I always love doing word studies so MK’s post prompted me to look up that word for hope in the original Hebrew to see what it said.
I was so blessed by what I found.
In Jeremiah 29:11, the original word for hope was tiqvah, which figuratively means to expect, hope, think, live, or thing I long for. But here’s where I got blown away. Tiqvah also literally means cord (as an attachment.)
It so happens that the word translated hope in Jeremiah 29:11 is elsewhere translated as cord in the story of Rahab (Joshua 2). Joshua sent spies into Jericho to check out the place before he sent in all the troops. Rahab, who was a prostitute in Jericho, hid the spies in her home and didn’t give them away even when the king of Jericho sent men to look for them. When the spies left to go back to Joshua, they told Rahab to hang a scarlet cord from her window and if she did, they would spare her and her family when they came back with their army to attack.
The scarlet cord – the tiqvah – was her salvation from destruction. It was her only hope.
I find this to be so cool, because it would seem that here is just another example of God hinting at His plan for us…of another time to come where He would give us The Blessed Hope whose scarlet blood would pour forth to bring us salvation.
In Jeremiah some versions say “I know the plans I have for you,” and others “I know the thoughts I think towards you,” but either way that verb progression there literally means “to weave.”
I know what I’m weaving for you.
And this scarlet tiqvah woven by the blood of my Son will be your salvation. It will save you from destruction, it will be your hope…and by it you shall be bound to Me.
He’s been telling the story since the beginning, winding and weaving the scarlet cord all throughout His word, creating a beautiful tapestry of redemption so that we might have hope. What an amazing God…