Wednesday, June 29, 2016

RELY - Where to Place Your Hope

When the wicked die, their hopes die with them,
for they rely on their own feeble strength.

Ouch. This verse hurts the heart at first read. It's unhappy and depressing in its Truth. Thank goodness we're not among the wicked! We're good people, who do good things to better the world around us...or are we?

Let's let's dig in and find exactly what He is saying...

wicked - this word is from a primitive root in Hebrew, רָשַׁע râshaʻ, which means to be unrighteous. What does unrighteous mean? In this sense, it is to be unjust, or separated from God because of our sinful nature.

die מָוֶת mâveth  is a Hebrew word meaning, you guessed it, death.

hopes - תִּקְוָה tiqvâh is a Hebrew word used figuratively, meaning expectation, or thing that I long for.

die - interestingly, the original translation does not use the word 'die,' but instead uses the word 'perish.' It is a primitive root in Hebrew, אָבַד ʼâbad. It means to be destroyed. In this verse, it is used metaphorically, meaning hope destroyed, or desires which are frustrated.

I think the rest of the verse is fairly self-explanatory; so let's put what we've learned all together in our own words...

When those who are separated from God die, the things that they long for, their desires, are frustrated to destruction. By relying on themselves, their everlasting life perishes.

What is 'separated from the LORD'?
Why is hope destroyed when we rely on ourselves?

Separated from the LORD, is anyone who has not surrendered their heart to Christ Jesus. The common term is 'unsaved.' Jesus clearly told us He is LIFE. (Read Luke 11:25-26). I am going to plainly speak here:

There is only One God.
We are ALL born into this world separated from Him in our hearts.
In order to have eternal life (that means going to heaven)
we must declare with our mouths
and believe in our hearts that Jesus is LORD.

This is what Christians call salvation, friends. It is the hope we have, knowing this world is not the end; knowing that there is truly something worth far more than anything in this world could provide us. 

Why is hope destroyed when we rely on our own strength? Because our own strength fails, and God's strength NEVER fails. Because everything in this world we live is temporary. It doesn't matter how much work you've accomplished, how many good deeds you've done, or how many things you've acquired. It will all be gone at some point, but Jesus' LOVE is FOREVER. 

Be encouraged in knowing He is forever and always. Question this Truth if you are unsure of it. Seek Him and you will most certainly find your answers. Place your hope in Him, and your life will be forever. He is waiting on you. 

How will you rely on Him today?