To hope for something is to long for it- but also to expect it to come. In his wisdom Solomon wrote in Proverbs 10:25. “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. But the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” Hoping is expecting that for which one longs. Idol worshipers have hope, for they long to be set free from pain and suffering, and they expect their idol to bang them there. The righteous long and expect to be delivered from the act of sin as well as from the punishment of sin.
The psalmist makes very plain when in Psalm 119:73, 74 he writes. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding that I may learn Thy commandments. They that fear Thee be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in Thy word.” Or as our versification has it:
Thou, Who didst make and fashion me.
O make me wise. Thy law to learn:
Then they that fear Thee shall be glad
When they my hope in God discern
Notice that he does not pray that God will tell him what His commandments are. But that he may have understanding through learning these commandments. He pay’s that God, Who “made and fashioned” him will cause him to understand what it means that man was made and fashioned in the image of God, as His friend-servant. He is concerned with understanding and learning to know how to live in love toward God. He longs and yearns for the day when he will be able to think, will, and do only these which man was made and fashioned to do as God’s image bearer.
How about it? Is that yaw longing and expectation? Or is your idea of heaven merely an escape from suffering the curse, the punishment of sin? Do you want to be as sinless as Christ was during His sojourn among us?
If we only want escape from the punishment of sin, we do not understand God’s commandments. And we do not understand what Christ did for us by going to His cross. That cross was God’s way of lifting us up to holiness. For only those who are freed tram the art of sin will be in that place where there is no punishment of sin.
Read: Psalm 119:73-88
Psalter versification: 330:1
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.