This article is a part of the Biblical Hope series. To start this study from the beginning, click here: Biblical Hope.
Principle 16: the source of Hope is the promise of God
The vessel of Hope is a person (seed, offspring; “zerah”)
The remainder of the story is about the Seed.
- The carriers
- The calling
- The planting in the soil
- The nurturing
- The unveiling
- The dying
- The living
- The bearing of fruit
- The exporting
- The final harvest
Along the way, the story follows those who embrace the Seed, reject the seed, embrace the serpent’s seed, the enmity that follows.
It is about prideful living that leads to reckless choices and despair that stems from ignoring or dismissing the voice of the Seed. Those who decide to embrace the message of hope within the “DNA” of the Seed live as joyful, courageous overcomers.
As the human story unfolds, it is clear that the Seed is the message we need to understand.
Hence the (laborious) genealogy. Remember, these things are written for our admonition, “that we might have hope.”
Look at Noah’s father, Lamech, for example.
Why did he name his son Noah?
When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” (Genesis 5:28-29 ESV)
Noah means “Rest”.
Biblical Rest is the place where we cease from our labors, we find comfort in Rest.
The concept is introduced in the Creation account of the 7th day. It is also in type a picture of the Messiah, who will provide rest for all who come to Him and bring comfort to our war-torn spirit.
Principle 17: The curse is a place of unrest. We must be delivered out of it.
How did Lamech know this story after almost nine centuries of human history?
He learned it from Adam; Lamech was 56 years old when Adam died.
Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” (Genesis 6:3 ESV)
In Genesis 6:3, we see that not only will the life of man be limited, but human history will have a lifespan. There will come a time when God’s Spirit will no longer strive with man.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5 ESV)
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:11 ESV)
Later, Jesus will speak of the end of history and use Noah’s day as a reference point.
“As it was in the days of Noah…” [once again, “these things are written for our sakes upon whom…”]
The Ark is a type of salvation from judgment. Note the pitch in Genesis 6:14 (כָּפַר)
Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. (Genesis 6:14 ESV)
The covering, or pitch, is the same word used throughout Leviticus for atonement.
We continue… Noah builds the ark as he preaches the Gospel.
When he lands on dry land, God reveals to us that the Seed will come through the line of Shem, as His covenant becomes more defined.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you (Genesis 9:8-9 ESV)
He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. (Genesis 9:26 ESV)
Shem (root of Semite) and his sons following through the line of Eber (root word of Hebrew).
We follow his descendants (zerah) to Abram (Genesis 11:27).
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Philippians 3:12)
Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:16)
Why hope is so critical
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel (Colossians 1:3-5 ESV)
If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard (Colossians 1:23)
How does one “shift?”
By heading in a different direction than the word intended through personal preference.
Result: Great Loss!
Next article: Becoming a Disciple of Hope
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