“Put your hope in Adonai, be strong, and let your heart take courage! Yes, put your hope in Adonai!”
In Hebrew, there are two words for ‘hope’ that have the same root: quavah meaning ‘twist or weave’ as in a ‘cord’ that holds expectation. Rahab dropped a scarlet cord from her window with the expectation that her family would be saved when Jericho was destroyed by the Israelites.
Both tikvah and מקוהmikvah come from this root holding the meaning of ‘expectation.’ When God ‘gathered’ the waters together and separated them from the sky in Genesis, the word mikvah is used for ‘gather.’ A mikvah is a pool of water where one would immerse and ritually cleanse for numerous reasons. The most notable mikvot are for converting to Judaism, entering the Temple, and for a woman after her time of niddah, monthly cycle. This is what Bat Sheva was doing when King David saw her. Yochanan immersed the Jewish people in the Jordan River, a mikvah for the ‘repentance of sins,’ while preaching that One greater would mikvah them in the Holy Spirit.
Tikvah is the word for ‘hope’ used in the Israeli National Anthem, HaTikvah. Though this word for ‘hope’ holds an expectation for something to come, it also includes the idea of a present certainty in the power of God to attain the goal. HaTivkah is not just ‘The Hope’ of the Jewish people to return to their land after 2000 years, it is the expression of the reality of that hope and the promises that come with it.
The Hebrew word for Adonai is the memorial name יהוה yod-hey-vav-hey, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, I Am as given to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15.
The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is lev and means ‘the inner man, mind, and will.’ We are to love Adonai with all of our inner man, mind, and will.
The Hebrew word for ‘strong’ is ametz and means ‘to be bold.’ This word means to be alert on foot, obstinate in speed, and steadfast in mind in order to be fortified and prevail. These are all qualities of a focused warrior.
The Hebrew word for ‘courage’ is chazak and means ‘to grow firm or strengthen.’ It is used with armies, the strengthening of hands, with royal power, and the sounding of the shofar. In Deuteronomy 31:6, God tells Joshua who is headin into the Promised Land to war against the enemies of God: “Be strong [chazak], be bold, don’t be afraid or frightened of them, for Adonai your God is going with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
“Put your expectation for present and future goals in the power of Adonai, be bold, alert, obstinate, steadfast in mind, and let your inner man grow firm and prevail! Yes, put your focus on all the promises in the power of Adonai!”
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