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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
"For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant." Job 14:7-9
The first time the word hope is used in the Bible is in the book of Ruth. Naomi is feeling hopeless; she is widowed, destitute, and bitter, and she has no hope that things are going to change. She felt hopeless because it was her belief that God was against her. Now, that's how hope is introduced in Scripture. The last time hope is used is in 1 John 3:3. John tells us, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." The Bible progression then is from hopeless to full of hope or hopeful.
What I want you to see is that Naomi had been left hopeless because her family had gone away from God, and now she was dealing with the consequences. Sin always promises us fulfillment, but always leaves us empty. Naomi was left feeling alone in the world, and no doubt the devil whispering in her ear, "Curse God and die." There is no more terrifying place to be in life than in a state of hopelessness. Poor Naomi was blinded by her fear and bitterness, and that because of her sin. What she could not see was that Boaz had prepared to rescue her. And rescue her He did! Ruth and Naomi were redeemed by that great man, and hopelessness became hopefulness!
There is certainly a famine in our land today, and as a result of our present state, many are feeling hopeless. We can only see the rise of sin in our land. The homosexual message is being preached loud and long. The pro-choice message is in the mainstream; a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body. What about the 500,000 unborn women? Do they have a choice what to do with their bodies? The teen pregnancy numbers are skyrocketing, and the teen mom is glamorized. Drugs, alcohol and pornography are the vices destroying the bodies of millions in our society. Our nation has sided with socialism and all its immorality. Many of God's people now, like Naomi of old, are waking up in a strange land with the realization that we have gone too far from God. Maybe you too have that sinking feeling of hopelessness. Well, hopelessness can be turned into hopefulness!
We too have a Boaz. Our Redeemer liveth! He loves us no matter how far we've gone. However, we cannot know His hope until we return to seek His face. "That they should seek The Lord, if haply they might feel after him, though he be not far from every one of us" Acts 17:27. To really know His hope, we must know Him. To really know Him, we must be pure and clean. To be pure and clean is going to take thorough repentance. Repentance will lead to forgiveness, and that leads us to righteousness and there we find revival!
Are you feeling hopeless? Well, turn from the wicked ways of this life, and humble yourself, pray and seek His face, then you will find Him and in Him is hope! This is real hope and change. You change and He will give you hope!