Hope in the Psalms (Part 3)

Psalm 62:5 ESV – For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Psalm 65:5 ESV – By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;
Psalm 69:6 ESV – Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.

Psalm 71:5 ESV – For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

Psalm 71:14 ESV – But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
Psalm 78:5-8 ESV – He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
This collection of Psalms refers to hope in 2 ways:
  1. That God IS our hope
  2. That we should have hope IN God.

What’s the difference?

If God is our hope and we hope in God, then it’s a bit tautological.  It’s like we’re saying “Hope is our hope.”  or “We God in God”  It becomes nonsensical.  The Psalmist(s) are conveying 2 aspects of the relationship between hope and God, and Psalm 78 sums it up rather nicely.

God had the patriarchs write down the history so that the following generations would “not forget the works of God.”  And, along with that, that they would, “set their hope in God.”  I think the distinction can be made like this:

God is our hope simply because He is God and we are not.  He is the Creator, we are the creation.  He is the only viable solution to the problems we face.  Without God, then this is all there is.  The victims of this life have no justice.  The downcast of society are forever lost.  Those who understand they need mercy will have none.  The only One who can correct the wrongs and the injustices, and provide mercy is the Creator.  All our need flows from broken relationship with Him.  God is our only hope.

To Hope in God has a slightly different connotation.  See, His existence is our only hope, but even if He did exist, He doesn’t have to do anything.  Hoping IN God not only looks to His existence as hope but also His past actions as hope that He will do what He’s said.  “How do we know this?”  Because He’s done it before.  It’s his voting record.

Evil has been judged before.  Mercy has been granted before.  People have been saved.  God has done mighty works.  Let us not forget that.

He is The God Who Is There.

He has done Mighty Works.

He will do them again.  In your life and mine.

Remember, Hope is Reality.


Posted in Hope, Wednesday Word