Hope in Yahweh

Hope in Yahweh

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 11/26/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

                                                                             Zephaniah 3:17 (NASB95)

What is hope? If you do an internet search for the definition of hope, most dictionaries have about the same definition. Hope is defined by online dictionaries as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust; to want something to happen or be the case. Hope is the expectation for things to go well in the future.

For the Christ follower, it is this last part of the definition that, particularly, fits the theme we are examining this week – hope, an expectation for things to go well in the future. We have placed our trust in Yeshua, the Son of God, with the hope that our futures as secure in His hands, and that, upon His return, we will be claimed by Him and delivered from our enemies before we join Yeshua in His eternal kingdom. We have Hope in Yahweh because He will take delight in us, His children, forever and ever.

Even as he sounds the alarm, warning of coming judgment, Zephaniah offers encouragement to the people, reminding them the Lord is in their midst as a victorious warrior; He will exult over them in joy and be quiet in His love. The people can Hope in Yahweh, for He will rejoice over them with shouts of joys.

As Christ followers, we have Hope in Yahweh, for He is God with us, a mighty soldier who has won the battle, delighting in us as He rests in His love for us. With a ringing cry, Yahweh will delight over us forever and ever.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “Why must Christ followers have Hope in Yahweh?”

As Christ followers, we have Hope in Yahweh because He is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

1). As Christ followers, we have Hope in Yahweh because He is in our midst as a victorious warrior.

He is Immanuel – God with us, Mighty God, Eternal Prince.

Our passage today comes from Zephaniah, a prophet during the reign of King Josiah in approximately 640 B.C. He is a contemporary of Jeremiah, beginning his prophetic ministry in approximately 627 B.C. The theme of the entire book of Zephaniah concerns the Day of the Lord, or the Lord’s Day – the day Yeshua, the Son of God, makes His return to the earth. In this short book, Zephaniah covers the judgment to befall Judah, a call to repentance and the judgments of the Gentile nations. Our passage is a passage of Hope in Yahweh for future blessings upon the people of Yahweh.

Scripture is filled with passages concerning the return of Yeshua and the final battle with His enemies. Perhaps the most recognized passage is found in Revelation 19 and what we know as the Battle of Armageddon. Here, Yeshua is pictured on a white horse, with a white robe, the ends of which have been dipped in blood. From His mouth comes His only weapon, a sharp sword. We are told, in verse 21, that everyone was killed by this sharp sword coming from the mouth of Yeshua. On His return on the Day of the Lord, Yeshua will be the victorious warrior, He will stand alone after this battle and rescue His people from certain destruction. This is our great hope that Yeshua will return to take us as His own, fight the remaining battle on our behalf, forever defeating evil, sin, and death.   

In chapter 11 of Hebrews, the author of that letter links our faith with hope, stating “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is described as the assurance, or reality of things hoped for by the Christ follower, things not seen. The author of Hebrews is saying our faith gives reality and proof of those things unseen, treating them as if they were already objects of sight, rather than just objects of hope. In his letter to the Romans, Paul reminds us we walk by faith, not by sight. It is our faith that makes the unseen things we hope for a reality in our faith walk. In other words, we walk today, as Christ followers, in the victory of Yeshua.

As Christ followers, we walk as children of God, in the reality of His coming Kingdom. We walk in a faith that gives reality and proof of our hope in Yeshua. We walk in faith as a redeemed people, living as reality and proof of the power of God in the human life, the power to soften and change hardened hearts to fertile soil. We walk in faith because we have Hope in Yahweh, He alone provides the assurance of the things unseen. We can walk in faith because our God is Immanuel – God with us. We walk in faith because our God is a Mighty God, a victorious warrior. We can walk in faith because our God is the Eternal Prince.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

What battle is Yeshua fighting for you today?

How does your faith walk give reality and proof of things hoped for in Yeshua?

How is Yahweh acting as Immanuel, Mighty God, or the Eternal Prince during this season of life?

As Christ followers, we have Hope in Yahweh because His is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

2). As Christ followers we have Hope in Yahweh because He will delight in us forever and ever.

He is the Alpha and the Omega and comes quickly as the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

The second half of this passage confirms our Hope in Yahweh, for we find that He will exult over us with joy, He will be quiet in His love, and finally, He will rejoice over us in shouts of joy. So, let’s unpack this a bit to better understand this hope we have in Yahweh. In his description of the Risen Lord in Revelation 1, John describes Yeshua in all His radiance. We learn that Yeshua is the Alpha, the first and the Omega, the last, for the Christ follower Yeshua is our all-in-all. In the passage we looked at in Revelation 19 we learn that He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. And in the final verses of Revelation, we learn He is coming quickly.

Why would Yeshua say He is coming quickly? Because of His deep love for those who belong to Him. As we break down this passage, the words chosen by God Almighty in His message to the prophet Zephaniah make this clear, His deep love for us drives Him to return and rescue us from the evil of the final days. Zephaniah says Yahweh will exult over us. The word translated as exult means to delight. Think here of the wedding ceremony and the delight seen in the bride and the groom when they first see each other as the bride begins her walk down the aisle. This is the delight Yahweh has when He finally has us in His kingdom.

Next, we learn that Yahweh will exult or delight over us with joy. Joy here is gladness or mirth. This is cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment – our Great God, the Mighty Warrior, will be cheerful, happy and find enjoyment over us! Can you imagine this for a moment? We Hope in Yahweh for our future salvation and security, and He will find cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment in our presence! I must admit, I had difficulty getting past this point. Who is our salvation for? Is it for us, to provide safety and security? To give us a good life spent in ease. Or is it for the One who created us? Does God really need us to be cheerful, to find happiness, or enjoyment? Of course not! But this is, in fact, what brings Him cheerfulness, happiness, enjoyment, His prized creation living in His presence.

We also learn that Yahweh will be quiet in His love. This is perhaps our greatest hope – the final removal of our sins. The word translated as quiet can also be translates as silent. The meaning here is that Yahweh will not hold our sins against us – He will not even mention them! Yahweh is silent over our sins. The forgiveness is complete, full, and final! And finally, we find Yahweh will rejoice over us in shouts of joy. We can think of rejoice the same way as joy, gladness, and mirth. He will find cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment in us, but this time, Zephaniah says He will do so with shouts of joy! It is to these shouts we must pay particular attention. The word translated shouts can mean a ringing cry or…get this…singing! Yahweh will be singing over us – He will find cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment and He will sing about it!

As Christ followers, we are traditionally taught that our praise for Yahweh will never end and of course, this is true. I won’t speak for anyone but myself when I say that I have never had anyone point to this passage, a passage where Yahweh will delight over me, finding cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment! Now, there will be plenty who say this is meant for the Jews alone, but they would be wrong. This is an end of days prophecy, and it is meant for God’s PEOPLE…all of them! Yes, Judah and Israel come first, but this is for all of God’s people, and this is one of the reasons we Hope in Yahweh! As we praise and worship our Great God, He will be singing over us in His cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment of us.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How are you feeling the deep love of Yahweh today?

How is Yahweh delighting in you today?

How are you sensing Yahweh singing over you during this season of life?

As Christ followers, we have Hope in Yahweh because His is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

There is no doubt we will face dark and difficult days sometime in the future. But we can cling to this great Hope in Yahweh, knowing we are headed to a future far beyond any description humankind can dream of. Perseverance will be the key. We must keep our eyes fixed on Yeshua, no matter the circumstances that surround us. As Christ followers, we must stick together, keeping our relationships rooted in Messiah. We must remember that we are identified with Christ in His suffering and death, but we are also identified with Him in His resurrection and eternal life! We must also remember that this world is not our final home or resting place. We are headed to a home in the new Jerusalem, where we will live with and see our Heavenly Father face to face. Above all, we must remember that we have Hope in Yahweh alone, for He alone will find cheerfulness, happiness, and enjoyment in us, forever and ever.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: Peace John14:27

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