Sunday, August 2, 2020

Psalm 5

What do you hope for?  During my life, my hopes have changed according to the desires of my heart.  In high school my hopes often revolved around boys, especially that I might be asked to a dance or other similar event.  In my young adulthood my hopes were often focused on employment, that I would get a raise or that I'd have certain perks from my work. These days my hopes are a little less tangible: I hope my kids are growing in maturity, that my husband and I grow continually closer to each other, and that my friends are well. None of these hope are intrinsically bad, but as I studied Psalm 5, I began to see how much I have misunderstood the biblical concept of hope:
Lord, listen to my words. 
Pay attention when I mourn.
My King and my God,
hear me when I cry for help. I pray to you.
Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
In the morning I pray to you.
I wait for you in hope. 
(Psalm 5:1-3, NIRV)
Usually when I say hope, I mean that I am wishing for something to happen.  In Psalm 5:3, the word translated as "hope" is "tsaphah" which means "to look out or about, spy, keep watch."  Yes, hope is something much deeper than wanting something.  It is a trust something is going to happen. David  knew God was going to answer his prayers because he trusted God. “I wait for you in hope” really means that David is watching for something he knows is going to happen.   

When we plan to have visitors at our home, I sometimes find myself passing repeated by the front window of our home, waiting to see their car pull up. I know my friends are coming; I’m just not sure exactly when. That is the kind of hope that David had. He knew that God would answer his prayers, but he didn’t know when or how. As long as I'm being honest, I'll admit that my hopes don't always revolve around God.  I don't eagerly stand at the window of my life and watch for God's appearance.  How different my life would be if I started each day watching for God!


  1. Seems like we should have two different words for hope. I also mostly use it to mean I'm wishing for something to happen.Thank you for reminding us of it's deeper meaning.

    1. I agree! Although, some of this confusion is probably just translation to English. I'm no language expert, but I know we don't have word for word equivalents with most other languages, including Hebrew.