I love going on a trip, whether it is overnight or for an entire week. It is so refreshing to just get away from the every day routine. However, with the joys of vacation also come the realities of laundry and unpacking all the bags after returning.
Having just returned from a trip over fall break with my family, I am well acquainted with unpacking the suitcases. To successfully empty the bag, you must look at each item and determine where it needs to go. The very same idea is utilized when “unpacking” a verse of scripture. To really get the most out of the passage, you can’t simply read it once and move on. Just like my suitcase from vacation, it is necessary to examine the contents.
Today, I will spare you the task of unpacking my families’ bags, but I would like to do some unpacking of Isaiah 49:23b, the key verse for week 1 of A Confident Heart Online Bible Study.
Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed (NIV).
As I read through this verse over the course of the week, three words really jumped off the page at me – know, hope and disappointed.
My wonderful husband gave me a Hebrew-Greek key word study Bible for our anniversary, so I was able to go back to the original Hebrew words and dig deeper into the meaning of this scripture.
- Know – comes from the Hebrew word Yada, which is one of the most important Hebrew roots in the Old Testament. It means to discern, be familiar with, also signifies a person’s relationship with God.
- Hope – comes from the Hebrew word Miqweh, meaning confidence, hope and expectation.
- Disappointed – comes from the Hebrew word Bos. It often occurs in the context of humiliation, disgrace and shattered emotions. There is usually a connotation of guilt.
Armed with these definitions, this verse really comes alive to me. In order for me to know that He is the Lord, I must be familiar with Him. I have to have a personal relationship with God, which requires time and effort on my part.
However, it does not stop with a simple relationship. God follows it up with a promise. Whoever puts her trust or confidence in God will not be disgraced and full of guilt.
It is no accident that Isaiah 49:23b was chosen for the first key verse. This scripture needs to be the foundation, not only for this study, but also for our lives. Everything else needs to build upon this. You see our confidence needs to be in Christ alone and not bogged down by guilt and shame. If we are in Christ, God does not see our past because the blood of Christ has washed us white as snow.
Everything in our lives needs to run through the filter of how God sees us and what He thinks of us. If we rely upon ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. God, on the other hand, promises that those who keep their confidence in Him will not be disappointed.
What about you, where is your hope and confidence today?