Hope, in Hebrew tikvah, is interwoven in our fabric as human beings. It is part of our narrative. How do we find it and how do we use it? Let’s see how the Hebrew understanding of hope can answer these questions.
Hebrew Word for Hope
The Hebrew word for hope has a lot of meaning associated with it. Maybe you’ve already heard the word tikvah, or HaTikvah (the Hope)?
In the Hebrew context, both biblically and in the modern Hebrew, hope is more than just a dream. It is an expectation, and a strong expression of faith. The Bible teaches that hope is like a rock you can rely on. You can hold fast to it and it strengthens you.
Through Jeremiah, God promised His people that His plans are not meant for evil, but to give them “a future and a hope [tikvah]” (Jeremiah 29:11). The Hebrew concept of hope is powerful.
How is your Hope today?
This is probably not a question you ask someone frequently. And yet most of us are hoping for something. Maybe you’re looking for a change in your circumstances, hoping for a better home, a job shift, perhaps hoping for a child.
The Bible details many stories of hope amongst God’s people, looking toward something greater, waiting for an answer to a prayer.
Hannah hoped and prayed for a son. Job held on to hope through his trials. Abraham in hope believed, says Romans 4. He hoped even when there was no reason to hope and God credited it to him as righteousness.
Hope looks to the future, postured for something greater. It looks with expectation that something will happen.
HaTikvah (Hebrew for Hope) in Israel
You may also be aware that Israel’s national anthem is about this very topic of hope. Did you know that it’s titled Hatikvah (as mentioned earlier: “The Hope”)?
The text of this beautiful poem is from the late 19th century. Naftali Herz Imber wrote it with Israel’s history in mind. It considers the 2,000-year-old hope the Jewish people maintained to return to their homeland.
That hope realized in 1948 when Israel became once again a nation. But the song existed before then, and served the people. Even during the darkest hours of the Holocaust, there are stories of Jews echoing these lyrics in the concentration camps.
As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
A People of Hope
Perhaps there is something specific that you are hoping for. Maybe you have a list of goals to accomplish. Or on the contrary, you feel like you’ve lost all hope. What you need is a reminder that you are not forgotten.
God’s tikvah is a promise of a bright future.
Whatever your circumstances, remember that as God’s people, we are a people of hope. God planted His hope not only in Israel, but in all of us. His plans are for good!
In our Messiah Jesus, we have a lot to hope for. We are afforded great and precious promises. We are partakers of the divine nature, says 1 Peter 1:4.
As believers, we don’t just hope without any assurance. We can believe in faith that what we hope for is also done through Jesus. That is what it means to be partakers of His divine nature.
God’s Reminders of the Hebrew Idea of Hope
Remember some of these promises on hope found in the Scriptures:
Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
The eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:18)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
The Assurance of Faith
We almost can’t meditate on the subject of hope without also coupling it with faith. If hope looks to the future toward something better, then faith knows that it is done! Tikvah is often coupled with the Hebrew word emunah (read more about it here).
Faith stands in assurance of God’s precious promises. After all, faith is the substance, or assurance, of things hoped for, says Hebrews 11.
These three abide – faith, hope, and love – but the greatest of these is love.
These words in 1 Corinthians 13 remind us that the assurance of our faith and the hope we have in our Messiah must continually be worked out through love. Because Love came in the form of a God man named Jesus, who is our Living Hope.
So, how’s your hope today?
7 Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know: Free PDF Download
With the use of the Hebrew language God revealed Himself to mankind. This ancient tongue held the greatest spiritual truths that guided our lives through the ages. And in each generation, they are discovered anew.
We know the Bible can be hard to understand and you want to get more out of it. Which is why we want to teach you seven Hebrew words that will transform the way you read the Bible.
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