When you read the Old Testament, which primarily tells of the Messiah and secondarily the story of God’s people, you can see why Israel hung all their hopes and prayers on the fulfillment of those prophecies. Throughout their history, they suffered many bad – even horrific – times, including captivity, slavery, exile in strange lands and even genocide. They kept their hope alive by reading the prophecies, telling the stories to their children and always waiting for their rescue. They continued hoping for hundreds of years.
One day, their hope arrived, but it wasn’t in any way how they expected. Their hope arrived in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. He grew up in the usual way, from infant to toddler, child to teenager and then young manhood. He was just the carpenter’s son, so how could he be the hope of the world and the fulfillment of all their dreams? The Jews not only ignored him (how could he be the One?), they put him to death and then continued to hope for rescue. Many are still hoping to this day, not realizing that when God keeps his promises, it doesn’t always happen as expected.
We in the 21st century are still hoping for rescue. Jesus did deliver us from our sins and now lives in us, but we still suffer the “slings and arrows” of our broken humanity. We await the final rescue, but now we know and understand even though the first clothing of our Hope was swaddling clothes, he will come again clothed in unimaginable glory. I have an idea it won’t look in any way how we might expect, but it will be worth the wait.
Study by Tammy Tkach
First published on 7 December 2021, at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
About the writer:
Tammy Tkach is the Assistant Pastor of the Eugene, Oregon, USA congregation. She is a speaker and writer, and publishes a blog at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
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