We’re on a journey through the Hebrew words from the Old Testament that we translate into English as “hope.” So far we’ve talked about hope as expectation. Part two is focused on yâchal hope.
This word is used as “hope” 22 times in the Old Testament (KJV) and is also translated as:
- wait (12); tarry (3); trust (2); variant (2); stayed (1)
Though he slay me, I will hope in him…
(Job 13:15 ESV)
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love . . .
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
(Psalms 33:18, 22 ESV)
yâchal comes from the root word meaning to wait. It implies patience, waiting or tarrying. It can also be interpreted as “being pained.”
This idea of a painful waiting brings to mind the word “longing” to me. When I long for something, I want so badly for it that it pains me to be without it.
Think of Job. He lost 98% of his earthly possessions. His children and servants were killed. His wife thought he’d be better dead than continue trusting in God. But in the midst of that Job longed for his God.
In your difficult times, do you painfully await God in your life? You want Him to show up, to move, to do something! Did you know that such a longing is hope? Your desire for Him to move in your situation is a witness that you “believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” which is the faith we need to please God according to Hebrews 11:6.