Advent Week 1, Day 5 – Hope

“What about me?”
“Where do I fit in?”
“Am I included?”

Imagine being a foreigner living in a country not your own. While you may experience the goodness of the land and its inhabitants, you know that there are many blessings of citizenship that are not available to you. If hard times come, or if the country in which you are living has conflict with your country of origin, you may likely be evicted and sent back to your country of birth.

The foreigners living in Israel clearly saw the goodness of God to the Jewish people. But they often wondered what their relationship to the Jewish people and their God was, or could be. They longed to know if there was any hope to be under the loving care and protection of Jehovah God and His Messiah, or if they would always and forever remain outsiders to the Lord.

The ancient prophet Isaiah answered this question, the words coming from God Himself:

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
    to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
    and holds fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
    for all peoples.”
The Lord God,
    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
“I will gather yet others to him
    besides those already gathered.”

(Isaiah 56:6-8, English Standard Version)

What a comfort and blessing these foreigners must have experienced, to know that Messiah was for them as well as the Israelites, that they could worship the Lord, that He was inviting them in, welcoming them, and promising to love and accept them. They too could hope to experience the joy of the Lord.

And that same promise made to those ancient foreigners is true for us today.

God loves us and sent His Son Jesus, not just for Jewish people, but for all people, every tribe, tongue, and nation who will accept His welcome and invitation.

That, friends, gives me hope – knowing the God accepts me and invites me to come and worship Him, that He hears my prayers and gives me joy as I serve Him.

My hope is not in some thing, but in some one – the Messiah, Jesus.

Where is your hope?

Jesus is enough.

Thankful for God’s promises, and for Hope in Him,