“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Our God demonstrates an amazing insistence that we should know we are loved. This is a beautiful thing to search out in Scripture or mark as we read through our Bibles. Even in the rule-giving in Leviticus, there are many places where the seeing eye will notice that, God being God, He was giving the Israelites the laws by which they might live and never forget the One Who had, with great lovingkindness, taken them for His own. Rightly understood, we could never be better tethered to life than to be bound to the knowledge of the God Who loves us.
Theirs was a relationship by law and promise and holy fear, yet there was always room for hope. Israel “hoped” every day that the system of sacrifice and offering and penitence and obedience was effectual to keep them bound to God and not “cut off.” In that hope they were able, and sometimes did, keep themselves from defilement and continued in blessing and in prosperity.
What for us? All that was given is given in our Lord Jesus Christ, and He has become our hope, our welfare, and our future; His life is our own, if we will have it.
There is yet a law, the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:2) There is a promise – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. (John 1:12) There is yet a fear … “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:4)
We know there are scores of promises made to us and kept, in Christ, and the law of God is written upon our hearts. We hope because of His faithfulness. Our fear of God is holy and pure and tends toward a living hope. Oh, this is a journey of hope toward hope, full of hope, fulfilled in hope! Thank You, Father, in all You have given, that You have given us HOPE!
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
Fr. Maxim Massalim, Wikipedia, by permission