Let Hope In
Bible Studies for Life
There is an oft told adage that goes something like: “A person can live seven days without water, three minutes without oxygen, but not a second without hope.” The science may or may not be accurate, but the sentiment is clear enough. Hope is essential to living. When a person gives up hope, giving up life is not far behind. Hope and life are inextricably linked in our minds.
In our latest Bible Studies for Life unit, Let Hope In, Pete Wilson looks at the idea of hope in the context of past failures. If I fail, is my usefulness over? Can I move forward, or will the shame of past sins ever be with me? Pete writes, “We can have a sure hope regardless of our past. When we let hope in, we can move beyond the regrets and shame. A hope-filled life is not a problem-free life. But we are no longer bound or hindered by the past.”1
One of the most moving stories of hope in the Bible concerns a young man, Mephibosheth. His grandfather, Saul, formerly a king of Israel, had been removed by God for disobedience. His father, Jonathan, was killed in battle. God had chosen David to be king, and he had once been threatened with death by Saul.
During this era, it was common for a new ruler to put to death all male descendants of the old king. David and Jonathan, however, were very close friends. David had made a pact with Jonathan not to harm his descendants. Not only did David not seek to harm them, he specifically looked for descendants of Saul to bless because of Jonathan.2
“So the king asked, ‘Is there anyone left of Saul’s family that I can show the kindness of God to?’ [The servant] said to the king, ‘There is still Jonathan’s son who was injured in both feet.’…Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, bowed down to the ground and paid homage. David said, ‘Mephibosheth!”
‘I am your servant,’ he replied.
‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘since I intend to show you kindness because of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields, and you will always eat meals at my table.’”3
What grace to one whose hope was gone! Many authors have noted the correlation between this story and salvation. A king, Jesus, who owes us nothing, seeks enemies to bless and makes us His children. “Embrace this hope: if we have received Jesus, God has given us the right to become His children (John 1:12). If we have become children of God, we no longer have to hide from him. We can come without fear to God’s throne with our lame condition since God has accepted us because of Christ’s worth.”4
Before Christ, we were like Mephibosheth – broken, and in need of hope. Those of us who have found hope in Christ must reach out to others who are without hope. We must not only let hope in, we must reach out to others and show them the hope we have in Christ.
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