Posts Tagged With: Rahab

More Tikvah

HangingThread

Who doesn’t need more hope?

I thought I’d share a few more things from the Hebrew text that will enlarge the cord of hope — something we all need. After all, the thicker the rope, the stronger it is, right? Hope is expectation toward something FUTURE and the Hebrew text emphasizes this truth. Let’s look at a few cases in point. The first two are from the Book of Wisdom or Proverbs.

Surely there is a future (aharit), And your hope (tikvah) will not be cut off. (Pr. 23:18)

Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future (aharit), And your hope (tikvah) will not be cut off. (Pr. 24:14)

In Hebrew there is a sort of play on words in these verses. Remember how hope or tikvah is actually also a bound rope or cord? Can you see why the imagery paints a picture of hope being like a rope that is NOT cut? Even if we feel like we are hanging by a thread, that thread is our hope and it comes with the promise of a future, not a snapped rope.

hanging-by-a-thread

Our hope in YHWH has a future. Placing your hope in YHWH will not leave you wanting or disappointed. YHWH has a plan for each of us. Every step, season, and struggle leads to our future. We will not be completely cut off like a limp cord as long as our hope rests in the Almighty.

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future (aharit) and a hope (tikvah). (Jer. 29:11)

“There is hope (tikvah) for your future (aharit),” declares the LORD, “And your children will return to their own territory. (Jer. 31:17)

Why do we (me included!) struggle so much with getting this? We have a future. There is hope in every situation. This is true even in death. Though death seems so very final and scary to us, there is still hope. But even knowing this, we more often mope around and mutter along with the dry dead bones in Ezekiel these words:

… ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope (tikvah) has perished. We are completely cut off.‘ (Ezek. 37:11)

But notice how YHWH reverses “our” negative confession in the next few verses.

“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.'” (Ezek. 37:12-14)

Do you ever feel as hopeless as an old bag of dry bones? Have you ever been so overwhelmed with the issues of life that you feel as if the marrow in your bones has dried up and crumbled? If YHWH can cause living flesh to grow anew on these dead bones and raise us from the grave, how much more can He speak life and a future hope into our personal circumstances right now?

We must cling to our hope and never give up! It is as real as the scarlet cord that saved the life of Rahab and her family. There is no coincidence that our aharit (future) is so often mentioned with our tikvah (hope). It’s not a hope for the future. Our hope IS our future! Our Elohim (God) is no respecter of persons, He is faithful.

The real question is are we?

Categories: News Flash | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Tikvah (Hope)

What is Biblical Hope?

scarlet cord

For thou art my hope (tikvah), O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. (Ps. 71:5)

 

We typically think of hope as a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen. Unlike a wish or longing, hope implies expectation of obtaining what is desired. In Hebrew, hope is the word tikvah (teek-VAH). Strong’s defines it as a cord, expectation, and hope. It comes from the Hebrew root kavah meaning to bind together, collect; to expect: – tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

Did you notice the concrete idea of a woven cord? While hope in English is abstract, hope in Hebrew provides us with a strong visual. A bound cord, rope, or thread cannot only be seen with our eyes, but it is something we can grasp hold of with our hands. In other words, hope is something real enough that we can cling to it. Hope is not something out of our reach.

The first occurrence of the word tikvah in the Bible is in the book of Joshua in the account of the two Israelite spies and the woman Rahab of Jericho.

The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. (Jos. 2:17-18)

She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window. (Jos. 2:21)

While the Hebrew tikvah is used here in its literal sense as a “cord or thread”, it still gives us a picture of its figurative picture of hope. The scarlet thread was Rahab’s hope. It was her only guarantee that her household would be spared by the Israelites. Though the physical cord had been tied to ensure their safety, Rahab still had to WAIT for the realization of the spies’ promise.

This is where the root of tikvah, kavah, becomes relevant to our understanding. We can typically relate to hope. But we too often forget that hope is rooted in waiting. Being patient and waiting for an expected thing or outcome is very difficult for the majority of us. We see numerous examples of Biblical heroes that struggled with “waiting”, sometimes with devastating consequences. Think about Abraham and Sarah’s impatience with producing an heir. They eventually agreed to use the surrogate Hagar that produced Ishmael. We still see the effects of their impatience today through Ishmael’s offspring, a persistent enemy of Israel.

So, the real question is how do we cling to hope? How do we keep from growing restless? How do we keep doubt from over taking us?

The truth is that we can cling to the hope we have in the promises of Elohim (God). Like grasping onto a strong rope, our hope is tangible and secure. Nevertheless, we must wait for their fulfillment and not grow weary. But what about the myriads of issues in our daily lives that do not have a direct reference of promise in Scripture; is our hope real when we are trusting that YHWH will intervene in these affairs?

Life isn’t black and white. There are many “grey” areas as we only see “dimly” most of the time. Our nature seeks certainty and absolutes no matter the issue or subject. Hope lives in the greyness and uncertainty of life; it can seem fuzzy. But, if we continue to cling to it, the sharp clarity of black and white will emerge into focus and with it the full technicolor of life. Yet, this realization isn’t why I’m writing. I want to be able walk steadily in the fuzzy grey path I currently find myself meandering.

Some of our travels and seasons on this journey of life with YHWH don’t make sense to our natural minds. What appears in the natural to be unfair, trying, or even wrong are in fact the very place He desires us to be. How else would learn to lean on our faith, trust, and hope in His promise to never leave us or forsake us? Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that we won’t feel that He has. But feelings aren’t a reliable gauge of truth. Feeling empty, dry, or deserted only causes us to cry out to the Almighty. When everything is hunky-dory we typically don’t cry out.

My family is in a place in the wilderness where we are continually crying out. It seems as if the desert is going to consume us… but this is where I must CHOOSE to see with spiritual eyes and stand on the promises of my MASTER. He really is in control. And if I can only relinquish my every anxiety over to Him, I will find that shalom I so desperately am seeking. If you are in a similar place of desperation, join me in taking courage although it seems the sky is falling all around you.

Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. (Ps. 27:14)

Even when the Word doesn’t speak directly to your situation or perhaps even appears contrary to a promise you’ve been standing on, know that YHWH is love. No matter the problem, issue, or situation, in the end His will and purposes ARE without a doubt being met. We must simply release our façade of control and be willing vessels no matter the cost.

This brings me to the question that I HOPE I can answer in the affirmative:

Can I let go of what I think is supporting me when I can’t see where I will land? Do I trust Him to catch me or throw me a rope?

There is a precious scarlet cord that runs not only throughout the Bible, but through each of our lives. But in order to see it, we must do just what I’ve been writing about. We must let it go of ourselves and tenaciously take hold of His rope. That is our only real HOPE.

I suppose my (and many other people’s) problem is the feeling (there’s that word again) that we aren’t worthy of being caught. We all know that we deserve nothing. Perhaps this limbo like desert is really a place of remembrance. We must remember what YHWH has already done in our lives. He is not a fickle Greek god. He is trustworthy and He changes not. This is what we must do when fear, doubt, and even restlessness tries to overtake our hope.

We must think about that tangible woven cord that was plaited just for us. Perhaps this is the very reason Rahab’s cord was the color red or scarlet. It is to remind us of our scarlet sins and the scarlet blood that washes them away white as snow. Like Rahab, we don’t deserve to be spared. We aren’t worthy, yet He still loves us. He still forgives us. We mustn’t try to force or work our way around our situation. Real hope waits on the Master to provide the way, all we have to do is walk as He leads.

Can we hold onto this hope in the midst of swirling chaos?

Categories: News Flash | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

The Biblical Role of Women Part VI

Role of Women Main Page 

Please see Part I, II, III, IV, and V for the best context.

Ruth

There is only one woman in the Bible that is specifically called an eshet chayil. That woman is Ruth, the Moabitess. If it has been a while since you’ve read the book of Ruth, please take the time right now to read its four short chapters. This will refresh your mind about the context of her extraordinary life.

“Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence (eshet chayil). (Ruth 3:11)

The book of Ruth may be a small book, but it has great significance for people of faith. There are many thematic nuggets we could explore within its few pages. The following list is only a sample.

  • Integrity & Kindness
  • Protection & Prosperity
  • Repentance & Redemption
  • The Feast Cycle (harvests)
  • Torah of Widows/Poor & Kinsmen Redeemer
  • Torah for Strangers/Sojourners (They also are in Covenant)
  • The Lineage of King David & Messiah Yeshua
  • Blessings over Children
  • Return from Exile & Restoration
  • Allusions to Wedding Feast of the Lamb

Ruth-Wordled-ESVWith all these rich themes, is it any wonder that the Book of Ruth is read during YHWH’s feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)? Creation Gospel students will recognize the significance immediately: Shavuot falls on the central (main) branch of the menorah. As such, it encompasses the whole. Shavuot stands as the “servant” to all the other moedim (feasts). A careful read of Ruth will demonstrate this fullness. We will try to stay focused only on those themes that directly link Ruth to an Eshet Chayil. With so many treasures in this book, that is going to be difficult!

What’s in a Name? רוּת

The meaning of Ruth (Rut) is usually referred to as a friend. But, the Hebrew root for Ruth is the word for shepherd or to tend a flock. It has the idea of a neighbor or companion, often an intimate companion.

If we stop and consider Ruth’s story, we can deduce that she was indeed a shepherdess of Israel. It is her lineage that birthed King David and Messiah Yeshua, both of whom were notable shepherds. When we think of the relationship that a shepherd has with their sheep, this notion becomes even more apparent. A (good) shepherd guards, feeds, and leads their flock. They are willing to seek out the “lost” and they will fight against dangerous predators. This sounds like the traits of an ezer or an eshet chayil, does it not?

Ruth is the only woman to receive the title eshet chayil by name in scripture. She received this designation BEFORE she was a mother and while she was a poor destitute widow, and a stranger (alien) in Israel. Ruth forsook her birth place and family to join with the God of Israel and His people. Once she made this commitment, she never wavered. Her diligence caught the attention of a wealthy relative — one that could change her and her mother-in-law’s life. That relative was Boaz. It was he that declared that Ruth was an eshet chayil.

RuthAndNaomiThe circumstances surrounding this encounter and proclamation however, are quite risqué. Naomi instructs Ruth in a secret seduction plan to attract Boaz. Both Ruth and Naomi were already aware that Boaz favored Ruth. This could be seen when Boaz told Ruth to only glean from his fields[1]. Naomi, the admitted bitter woman, wanted to secure the future of her beloved daughter-in-law. The favoritism that Boaz showed Ruth must have provoked Naomi’s heart to “push/guide”[2] Boaz to do the right thing—– offer them redemption.

ruth boaz2But Naomi’s plan was anything but orthodox. Ruth risked her reputation and future by approaching Boaz in the middle of the night. Her actions were a reversal of cultural norms. Ruth pursued Boaz. It is usually the man that pursues the woman, even in today’s world. Essentially, she got all dolled up and offered herself to Boaz in a secret proposal.

It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.” Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence –eshet chayil. (Ruth 3:8-11)

Boaz knew exactly what Ruth was asking of him. Perhaps he had already considered proposing to Ruth. However, what Naomi and Ruth did was courageous and Boaz knew it. This is why he calls her an eshet chayil. She was not only an upright woman in the eyes of the people and YHWH, but she was willingly to battle (in her own feminine way) for what she desired.

I believe Ruth’s brazenness only added fuel to the fire of Boaz’s growing fascination for her. He could clearly see her attentiveness in the care of her mother-in-law. It takes a special kind of woman to CHOOSE to care for a bitter person. He could also see her strong work ethic. She was driven and steadfast. These things revealed Ruth’s heart. And when Ruth came to Boaz in the night —— well, let’s just say that the depth of her passion was revealed. Boaz probably couldn’t wait to become her husband!

The very next day Boaz seeks out the one person who could thwart their plans — a kinsmen that was closer to Naomi by blood than he was. But when this other man discovers that he will not only have to redeem the land but also marry Ruth, he concedes to Boaz. I imagine that Boaz was rejoicing on the inside at this news.

ruth boazTake note of the process Boaz goes through to acquire Ruth. He scrupulously follows the Torah (instructions/law) of YHWH. In other words, unlike fallen Adam, Boaz puts YHWH before the woman. As much as he may desire her, he faithfully obeys the proper course of action. Boaz was functioning in his “redeemed” purpose. And by the looks of things, he had no problem with allowing Ruth to function in her purpose as ezer. He realized that he had found an eshet chayil!

An eshet chayil, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. (Pr. 31:10)

While all this is true, Ruth’s actions and intentions could be distorted very easily. Based on some carefully placed Hebrew idioms, there are those that have concluded that Ruth’s actions were anything but holy when she approached Boaz in the middle of the night. Was Ruth acting as a righteous woman or a harlot in this scene? There is a fine line to consider when it comes to discerning her role. Please ponder on the thoughts of Dr. Hollisa Alewine on this matter.

“Feet in Scripture are sometimes used as a euphemism for genitals. To lie with a man can also be used as a euphemism for intercourse. Spreading one’s skirt over a woman carries the same implication. Lest we think Ruth was inviting something improper, be assured that sometimes a foot is just a foot! The duality and ambiguity of the expressions is what is important because it inserts the question mark as to Ruth’s virtue. Boaz clearly vindicates her righteousness, and the people and elders at the gate affirm it.”[3]

The duality that Dr. Alewine brings up is an often overlooked theme in the Scriptures. There are many cases where the actions of a righteous person appear to be portraying the contrary. Generations before Boaz, Judah is placed in a similar situation with a woman from Canaan[4].

Ruth, Tamar, and Rahab

When Boaz was at the city gates before the elders claiming his right of redemption for Naomi and Ruth, the elders blessed Boaz’s obedience.

All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. “Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the LORD will give you by this young woman.” (Ruth 4:11-12)

The elders draw our attention back to Boaz’s forefather, Judah. What is so reflective about the people’s blessing is that Tamar, like Ruth, sought redemption from her kinsmen. But Judah refused to give her what was rightfully hers. If you will recall, Tamar had married two of Judah’s sons but they died before producing an heir. Judah promised his youngest son to Tamar when he came of age. However, when the time came, Judah didn’t keep his promise. Tamar ended up tricking or manipulating Judah to get him to do what he should have done all along: obey God’s Word.

tmarTamar accomplished her kinsmen redemption by deceiving Judah. She dressed up as a prostitute and seduced him. Later, when Judah learned she was pregnant, he wanted to have her burned alive. However, when she proved that Judah was the father of her growing womb —- he declared her more righteous than himself. As a result, Tamar secured the lineage of the Tribe of Judah. It is through the line of Tamar’s firstborn, Perez, that Boaz, Oved, Jesse, David, and eventually the Mashiach (Messiah) would come.

It came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb. Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” But it came about as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez. Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah. (Gen. 38:27-30)

Thus far, we have uncovered two women in the ancestry of Mashiach (Messiah) that have questionable identities. And the book of Ruth points to both. This dichotomy between a harlot and a righteous woman runs deeper still. There is another harlot/righteous woman in Mashiach’s line: Rahab.

rahabRahab was an Amorite of the city of Jericho. She was an innkeeper and a supposed prostitute that had heard great stories about the God of Israel. When the Israeli spies came to her city, she placed her allegiance with them and YHWH by helping the spies escape safely. When the Israelites came back to take Jericho, she let down a scarlet cord from her window. The men of Israel recognized this sign and she and her family were spared. They joined Israel as sojourners. Later, Rahab marries an Israelite named Salmon, who became the father of Boaz[5].

Now we have found three women connected to the Book of Ruth and the Messiah that appeared to be doing the actions of a harlot. Yet, we know that in the end they are each really righteous. Since we have already explored this same dichotomy of a harlot and a righteous woman (wisdom) in the Book of Proverbs, a question arises.

What is YHWH teaching us in this duality? Dr. Alewine has this to say:

“Because the Revelation harlot is a woman, and perhaps because it is too easy to dismiss a troublesome woman with bad names or a bad reputation, we would do well to study the foundational roles of women in the Torah. Sometimes a troublesome woman who appears to be a harlot is a virtuous woman [eshet chayil] led by the Holy Spirit, she guides [ezer] men who stray back into the straight path.”[6] [brackets and bolding are mine]

Stay tuned. In Part VII, I hope that we can bring all these revelations together and make them applicable to our lives today.

 


 

 

[1] Read all of Ruth 2.

[2] I hope you didn’t miss that these are the actions of an ezer and an eshet chayil.

[3] Alewine, Hollisa, PHD, The Scarlet Harlot & The Crimson Thread. London, KY: The Creation Gospel Publishing, 2012, p. 162.

[4] This is speaking of Tamar. Though the Bible doesn’t explicitly state that she was from Canaan, the majority of scholars and commentators deduce that this was indeed the case. Judah himself married a Canaanite woman and had a Canaanite friend. This and the fact that Judah was most likely residing in Canaan, all point to Tamar’s Canaanite ancestry. (Gen. 38)

[5] Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. (Mt. 1:5)

[6] Alewine, Hollisa, PHD, The Scarlet Harlot & The Crimson Thread. London, KY: The Creation Gospel Publishing, 2012, p. 54.

Categories: Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

The Bee Hive

Pouring out His Divine Honey of Wisdom & Revelation

redshoooz

Living the Abundant Life

In the Galute

B'ney Yosef

His Perfect Timing

My Incredible Journey with God

searchingfornorway

ancestry, geneology, knitting, history

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Heaven and Earth

Bringing pieces of heaven to earth

Ladder of Jacob

ascend higher.

Operation Jeremiah 6:16

Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Neviim Tovim/TheHaftarah Circle Gillian Gould Lazarus

Hebrew prophets and other themes from Tanakh

radicalrighteousroots

Biblical foundation resources for the family

Torah Rocker

Writings and studies of Torah

Hardcore Mesorah

Torah and Tefillah for those who aren't faint of heart

BE COURAGEOUS BLOG

NEVER LET GO OF GOD'S HAND

Ancient Footsteps

The end is known from the beginning...

modern day samaritan woman

welcome to all sojourners

Chalom Shalom

Unveiling the Voice of Creation...

ReDo~ReNew

Enjoying New Life in myself, others, and the things I find along the way...

Obadiah's Cave

A place of safety

Blue Jeans and Chocolate

~ My So-Called Glamorous Life

Awakened 2 Torah

It's time to leave Egypt and follow Yahweh!

The Well Trodden Road

Following the Way back home

Move Your "..BUT God .."

CLIMBING TO THE HEIGHTS OF GOD'S LOVE

Ohana Home Education

"Ohana means family. Family means no-one gets left behind, or forgotten."

Sewn olivette

Elevating Daily Life

Helena

The Protocol of Truth

Missing Pieces

Discover the missing pieces in your walk with Yeshua / Jesus

Wilderness Report

by Cathy Helms

Wholeness 4 Love

Life is for Living & LOVE is a choice!

natsab

Here I stand.

Rus Alan

Kingdom Minded living with issues related to discipleship, the Holy Spirit, and power.

Tannachton Farm

Faith, Family, Farm

GRACE in TORAH

Leaving Egypt is only the beginning of our journey...

The Lamb's Servant

Discerning Truth from Tradition | Our Hebrew Roots | Getting Back to Torah

Sharing God's Love

My passion is writing to share God's love with everyone who believes in HIm.

Daughters of Torah

Revealing our identity to the nations

SnarkyCrunch

Tree-hugging, Hippy-go-lucky, Dread-head, Jewish Mamma

Sanctuary Gardener

A Yankee grows in the South ~ Homesteading, gardening, & harvest recipes

little tent on the prairie

Restoring life through simple living

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Basic Judaism spoken here.

madebymamaleh

Creating a modern Jewish home one project at a time

%d bloggers like this: