We live in two words – blessing and curse. They are real and they have real effects. With them or behind them is the character of God – first came the blessing and only then followed by the curse. God is slow to anger, swift to show mercy, delighted to bless. It is better for us to be drawn into Him and His blessing by a child-like hope in His favour. That blessing is promised as we listen, trust and follow in obedience the word of God.
When this first appeared to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy, their hope totally depended on and was completely placed in the faithfulness of God and His promise.
So when we look at the law of God’s Word that produces blessings when we follow in obedience – which commandment is the first of them all? That question asked by a lawyer to Jesus is still what lies at the very heart of what we believe. Hard to believe for some of us that Bishop David Jenkins could quote such an orthodox statement, but it is quite the contemporary statement of our time —
There is God; He is as He is in Jesus; there is hope
The feasts established in the Old Testament took moments out of the lives of the people and turned the concept of time being busy towards repentance and to one of hope.
God is trying to get His voice into our hearts to say to us that He will meet our needs – He is our source. How many times do we see hope almost disappearing – feeling our source was running out – and God would rain from heaven, if you will, blessing us, restoring us.
If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today—loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul— then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil; and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. – Deuteronomy 11:13-15
When a man is self-conceited, rash, and given to wrangling, there is more hope of the ignorant and profligate. – Matthew Henry
I had to look up some of the context for the words used in this commentary. Wrangling – is have a long and complicated dispute. Profligate – a licentious, dissolute person. Licentious – promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters. Dissolute – lax in morals.
Imagine having less hope than a fool. The fool actually has more hope than two types of people – the one who uses hasty words and those who are conceited.
Hasty words are just that – words that come out so quickly that there is no opportunity of salvaging them, taking them back – they do what they were intent on doing and there are no apologies, excuses or explanations that can undo what’s been done. In a very important manner, hasty words betray a heart that has little self-control.
When you see hasty speech, you also see pride, envy and greed. If you think you have love, hope, faith, God, and a prayer life – those are silenced and no one sees them.
Still cannot imagine how many times Proverbs points out that there is no hope for a fool – hard to believe there is more hope for a fool than a person who is hasty with their words.
Do you see someone who is hasty in speech? There is more hope for a fool than for anyone like that. – Proverbs 29:20
He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again – 2 Corinthians 1:10
Prayer prompts us to continue in hope —
I praise You God, my deliverer.
You have unlimited power over the enemy and the trouble I face. I invite You into this situation. Deliver me from evil.
Let Your love and truth be revealed. In Your great power, conquer all that is meant to harm me.
I believe You can do more than I can ask or imagine in love and in obscurity. You delivered people from lions and fire. You can certainly deliver me.
I believe You are already acting on my behalf to deliver me. You are where my help comes from.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Prayer gives us hope today, and peace, and even joy and gratitude. Indeed, “taste and see that the Lord is good” can be our testimony today.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears – Psalm 34:4
Prayer for Hope and Strength
The Power of Praying God’s Words