Hope in the LORD

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Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:7 NIV
Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. Psalm 130:7 KJV

From the depths of despair to the pinnacles of joy, the Psalmist is reminding Israel to hope in the LORD. With the LORD, the greatest calamity is conquered by the greatest victory.
It would seem that the Psalmist himself had experience a similar situation (mortal danger, impending calamity, a disaster about to overtake him, etc.) and had found mighty deliverance in God’s unfailing love. Since the LORD is trustworthy, the people of Israel can trust Him for their complete deliverance, or full redemption.

But wait, since this is still in the Old Testament, it cannot be a “full redemption” as Christ Jesus was not revealed yet to Israel. So why the psalmist was convinced that with the LORD there is full redemption? Perhaps the psalmist was talking about a future time when Christ Jesus will be revealed to Israel hundreds of years later. Or, he was talking about something he personally experienced.

Whatever it is, it really doesn’t matter. Because of this word: Plenteous. The Hebrew word is ra-bah [raw-baw]. It means to increase in whatever respect, exceedingly, full, to multiply, etc. During the Old Testament times, redemption can be obtained through the forgiveness of sin after offering an animal sacrifice. The blood of the sacrifice “covers” the sins (forgives the sins) and therefore redeems the sinner. But it did not remove the sin; it merely “covers” it so that when the LORD looks down from heaven, He can see the blood, not the sin. Anything else that is needed – to make that imperfect sacrifice acceptable – is provided by the “plenteous” redemption from the LORD, in any way imaginable. That’s grace in the Old Testament.

But when Christ Jesus came about nine hundred years later, He came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. His death on the cross paid the penalty in “full”. John 3:16 says that, “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life”. That is why we can be certain that now we have full redemption. Complete. Because of the blood of Christ. It removes the sin away, far away, as far as the east is from the west.

Now we understand why the Psalmist exhorted us to trust in the LORD. Because with the LORD there is an abundance of mercy. With abundance of mercy there is abundance of redemption. We can rest in our struggles and put aside our worries in the wonderful arms of the Saviour. Wherever we go, whatever we do, in season or out of season, we are secured in the certainty of His promises.

God has in store for His redeemed people a great many things, perhaps greater than our worst fear. We are encouraged by the fact that He’s got our back and we can dream bigger and aim higher for His glory. If God can love us unconditionally in our worst, there is no reason He cannot love us in our best. God can move the mountains and shake the heavens to bless us and make us fruitful. For His glory and for our benefit, so that our faith will increase.

God’s redemption is not just enough – it is overflowing. It cannot be exhausted and it will never run dry. It is more than enough for the whole world. It is sufficient, exceedingly abundant, for every human being. It is for every soul.

We are not perfect, and we are still living and struggling for better things to come. Yet there is hope that one day we will receive what the LORD has promised in Christ Jesus. A future where there will be no more tears, no more wars, no more hunger, no more pain, and a life without the ravages of sickness and decay.

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