We all trust our Bibles, but we are not always aware of the ways in which our translations of the Hebrew or Greek can fall short. For example, I have a book, 70 Hebrew Words That Every Christian Should Know--and having read it, there is one word that sticks out as one of the most important to understand... and that word is
This word is used over 100 times in in the Old Testament and it is "to wait" and waiting is a huge concept for us to internalize. In fact, this word appears more than the words 'salvation', 'righteousness' or 'fear'.
And I think we can all confess: No one likes to wait.
But the truth is, the waiting mentioned in the Bible is different than what we understand waiting to be. It's the type of waiting that we miss in our English rendering of the word. But to understand that, we have to understand another hebrew word:
I asked you before "what are you waiting for?", but now I want to ask you "What are you hopeful for?" This new word, Tiqvah, is formed by taking the Hebrew letter Tav and adding it to the beginning of the word Qavah (to wait) to form a word pronounced Tiquavah. This combination of words would be shortened to Tiqvah.
And what is Tiqvah? It means to hope!
In the Bible, waiting is closely tied to hope and hope is closely tied to waiting.
It's not the type of waiting that is found in the waiting room of a doctors office, or the waiting in long lines to board a plane. The image of waiting that is so important in scripture would be more like this- an expectant waiting.
At EnterMission, we are waiting for so many things: more students, more staff, helping equip young adults to live out their lives on-mission and so much more. But as a start-up our waiting is not always represented by Tiqvah. We can feel as if we are trying to swim upstream, operating at the whims of outside forces that we do not control.
So for you on our prayer team, would you lift up EnterMission this week in your prayers that our waiting would be filled with HOPE? We want a hope-filled waiting represented so well in Isaiah's words in 40:31
Want to know more about Tiqvah? Check out the story of Rahab--two Hebrew words are used for the cord that she was to hang in her window as she waited for Israel to save her and her family in the upcoming attack: Chevel, which brings with it imagery of being bound or suppressed and then Tiqvah when the scarlet cord is mentioned which brings imagery of liberation and hope!