Hope and a Rope
Are you at the end of your rope? There is hope.
I was reading one of Tiffany Ann Lewis's blog posts in the "Gems for Gentiles" section about hope. She noted the Hebrew definition of this word and its root carry the concept of a rope and the stretching forth of a measuring line. I looked this up in the Gesenius lexicon and discovered that the very first definition of the word for hope (tiqvah) is "rope" and secondly defined as expectation.
Its root word "qavah" is defined as "to twist" or "bind together", "to be strong", and "to expect" and is translated sometimes "wait", "gather together", also to "stretch forth a measuring line" all descriptive of the purposes of a rope. There are many concepts here. In this article we will look at each one of them all and tie them all together.
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
— Ecclesiastes 4:12
Hebrew words most generally contain three root letters. Suffixes and Prefixes added to a word may form a new word but it will still contain the concepts of the original root word. What God does in the Hebrew language is give us three visual concepts that can be twisted together to give us an illustration of something that can be grasped or held on to like a rope. We can depend on it being true.
The three letters that make up the root word for hope "qavah" are "qoof"," vav ", and "hey". This word is most often translated "expect", "wait for", and to "look for". From this, we can see that hope begins with expectations as in looking for something. Let's dig a little deeper using the pictographs.
"Qoof" Is a Sun Rising on the Horizon
The first strand of our rope is the letter "qoof". The illustration that comes with this letter is that of the sun rising on the horizon and carries the concepts of arising. The sun rising is a symbol of hope in and of itself. It is the dawning and expectation of a new day.
My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
— Psalm 130:6
There is only one with whom we may expect anything. There really is no hope apart from Him.
But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;...
— Malachi 4:2
Hope is about getting up and arising out of discouragement and despair. When we despair we give up. We lay down. Hope is not passive. It is active.
Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!
— Isaiah 52:2
The sun rising is the giving of light and the giving of light enables us to see things, possibilities, and solutions. that we couldn't see before
Hope sees and expects good to happen it does not foresee disappointment
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
— Romans 5:5
Qoof also carries the concept of proximity.
. . . there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
— Hebrews 7:19
"Vav" is a Nail That Connects Things
The second strand is the letter "vav" and is represented by the picture of a nail it carries the concept of connecting, establishing, choosing, and devoting. "Vav" can connect us with the one who holds our hopes, expectations, and dreams in His nail pierced hands.
To expect and wait for good is something we choose and devote ourselves to it doesn't always come or feel natural sometimes. And from this verse, we see that expecting and waiting, require us to recall to our minds these things.
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
— Lamentations 3:21
We must stay connected deliberately as we see the Psalmist do in this verse.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
— Psalm 42:11
Vav is also about connecting heaven and earth. It was the nail pierced hand of Christ that connected man to heavens resources
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
— Ephesians 1:3
We can have hope because we are not stuck with just our natural world and the things we can see for help. We have resources that are beyond this realm we live in. As long as we stay connected to Christ and abide in the vine.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
— John 15:5
There is nothing of any value that can be accomplished in our life situations or circumstances apart from Him.
Hey is a Window That Lets the Light In
The third strand of our rope is the letter "hey" and is a picture of an open window indicating a revelation of secret things, illumination, and beholding, and is associated with worship. It is deeply relevant that an expectation is attached to something very specific and that is a revelation. We won't expect something we do not foresee. We will not wait for something we don't know or will happen.
Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope.
— psalm 119:49
Our expectancy is born from a revelation of Jesus Christ which causes us to hope.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
— I Peter 1:13
The letter "hey" is about worship. It is about who we look for not just what we look for. People and situations will disappoint us. Expecting from God and God alone is a form of worship and hope requires us to worship the one we hope in.
My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
— Psalm 62:5
It is about something that is seen with the eyes of our spirit but not yet realized in the natural.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
— I Corinthians 2:9
The "hey" being an open window also illustrates what hope and expect looks like when it is likened to looking out the window as in watching and waiting for something.
With no vision, expectation, or revelation we are without hope wandering aimlessly through life and circumstance.
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;...
— Proverbs 29:18
This last verse brings us to the next concept of hope that deals with a rope. In the above definition we saw that hope has to do with a gathering together. When I think of this I think of a lasso and rounding up livestock and corralling them. When it comes to hopelessness our thoughts are generally running loose without restraint as the above verse indicates. When it comes to hope we must corral our thoughts in and purposefully and mindfully direct where they are going. That is where revelation or Word from the Lord are imperative to keep our thoughts and minds framed with the hope He has given us in them.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind (thoughts) is stayed (framed) on You, Because he trusts in You.
— Isaiah 26:3
I included the literal translation in the above verse because I thought it was relevant to know that we frame our lives with thoughts. And our hopes and expectations are framed with these thoughts. Hope is like the frame of a house that faith is building.
The final aspect I wanted to look at is hopes relation to a rope as a measuring line and it is related to the idea of stretching out. To stretch out a line or a rope. Hope requires us to stretch. We need to make room for whatever it is we are hoping for. This next verse expresses this idea beautifully.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes
— Isaiah 54:2
The above verse shows us what hope looks like. It is making room for our expectation. It is broadening your horizons and perspectives. Give God lots of room to move by hoping in Him.
I also believe the measuring line speaks of boundaries. I am not a member of the name and claim it bunch in the sense that we can just start hoping for random things simply for the satisfaction of our flesh. I do however believe that God has spiritual provisions and solutions for us that he wants to reveal to us and give us a hope for. We ought to seek Him for these revelations.
For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
— Isaiah 64:4
"Tav" is a Sign
We have studied the root word for "hope" which means to expect, wait, and look for and would like to add the prefix to this revelation. The only extra letter that is added to make the word translate hope is a "tav".
"Tav" is a picture of a cross and is known as a sign or a seal of a promise that is secured through the covenant sacrifice. it carries the concepts of a completed work. What brings our desire and expectation to a place of hope is expecting from Jesus Christ and believing in what He did for us on the cross in making access to the Father and His heavenly resources possible. It is our guarantee that what we hope for is assured.
Hallelujah!! Jump for joy the things He reveals to us...consider it done. It is signed sealed and delivered!
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
— Deuteronomy 29:29
Credits and Sources
*(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rope) ("Rope" refers to the manufactured material. Once rope is purposely sized, cut, spliced, or simply assigned a function, the result is referred to as a "line,"
© 2010 Tamarajo