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August 31, 2009

"An Anchor of Hope"

Part 2 on "The Fear of the Lord is a Treasure"

"Turn you to the stronghold, you prisoners of HOPE. . ."  Zechariah 9:12

Back in the 60's there was a little chorus written by Ruth Caye Jones that went like this:


"In times like these, you need a Savior.
In times like these, you need an Anchor.
Be very sure.  Be very sure.
Your Anchor holds, 
And grips the solid Rock.

This Rock is Jesus,
Yes, He's the One.
This Rock is Jesus,
The only One.
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your Anchor holds,
And grips the solid Rock!"


I want to throw out an Anchor to you today.  HOPE.    Not an "airy-fairy" wishful thinking kind of hope that has no reality.  This hope is real and it is strong.  Let me tell you something about HOPE.

The word "hope" in the Hebrew is "tiqvah" which means literally "a CORD" (as an attachment).  It means expectancy, a thing that I long for.  It comes from the root word "qavah" meaning "to bind together."

            1.  It is the same word used in Psalm 71:5, 6   "For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.  By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee."  (Can you see the "umbilical cord"?)

            2.  It is the same word used in Jeremiah 31:16, 17 when the Prophet is speaking of Rachel, refusing to be comforted, weeping for her children, and he says, "Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears:  for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord: and they shall come again from the land of the enemy, And there is HOPE in thine end, saith the Lord, that they children shall come again to their own border."  (Can you see him "roping" them in?)

            3.  It is the same word used in Zechariah 9:9, 11, and 12 when the Prophet, Zechariah, says, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, o daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation. . .As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is not water.  Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of HOPE. . ."  (Can you see the cord lifting them out of the pit?)


            4.  It is the same word used in Joshua 2:15.  The Israelites were moving in to take Jericho, and on into their promised land.  Two spies were sent ahead and they stayed in the house of a harlot named Rahab who gave them information.  She described to them how the fear of God had fallen on her people and they were terrified of the Israelites.  "For the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath!"  Meanwhile men of the town had seen the spies and informed the King of Jericho.  You remember the story how Rahab hid the Hebrew spies on the top of her roof, covering them over with stalks of flax.   Rahab pled with them to show kindness to her and her household by saving them alive when they returned with their armies.  When all was clear, she took a scarlet cord to let them down secretly from her window over the wall.

 "Swear to us that you will not say a word about this to a soul!  Our life for yours!  And when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly with you and your family that are with you.  But be certain to bind this scarlet cord in your window so that we will know where you are."  And then off into the night they vanished. 

The Cord!  The Cord!  Straight-away she bound the cord in the window.  That Hebrew word is "tiqvah".  The same word for HOPE.  How many times do you think she looked at that window to make certain that her cord was firmly attached in those next days.  And what did she whisper to all her family?   No one else would be saved.  The city was utterly destroyed except for Rahab and her family.   Rahab is in the direct ancestral line of Christ.

            5.  Heb. 6:18  In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews is speaking of Jesus Christ being our High Priest.  He speaks about having "full assurance of hope unto the end" (vs. 11)  because of Jesus Christ.  Vs. 18 "That by two immutable things (his oath and His promise), in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."

I am going to be sharing with you my discoveries about "The Fear of the Lord" and how it can give you HOPE!
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