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Three Great Men, Three Great Stories of Hope

Hello, Salt-a-holics!

I’m so glad you’re here! I hope you had a beautiful week celebrating Spring! I know we did! I got to take a couple of nice long walks on the beach (I don’t know if life gets any better for me than that sometimes!) and hubs and I went to a great local show. I’ll tell you more about that at some point in the near future!

So… last blog we talked about HOPE. And, if you recall, the teacher in me asked you to read three summaries on three very faithful men from the Old Testament: Noah, Abraham and Joseph. I “hope” (no pun intended) you had a chance to do so. If you did, great! If you didn’t… that’s ok. I will tell you, though, rereading the life stories of these patriarchs in the Old Testament is a reminder to me that God’s Word is ALIVE! It speaks to all of us just when we need it, and for me these three stories scream hope, and who couldn’t use some of that right now.

There is so very much in these stories and scriptures that it would literally take me years to unpack! So, as a result of prayer, I have decided to focus on two things aptly titled…

What’s in a Name? and Hope is to Faith as Peanut Butter is to __________. Today, let’s tackle the first…

What’s in a Name?

When we named our children, I wanted their names to have meaning. I wanted them to be Biblical and names they would one day understand, appreciate and absolutely love! Our children’s names are Luke Thomas and Olivia Gabrielle. They are now 25 and 21 respectively.

I don’t know how they get older and I get younger?!? Crazy, huh?

The name Luke means “Bringer of Light”. Luke was also one of the 70 disciples appointed by Jesus. He was a physician and one of the authors of the four Gospels.

Thomas is my husband’s name and his grandfather’s name. He was also one of the 12 apostles. Mighty names, huh?

Olivia is derived from a Latin word meaning “olive” or “olive tree”. This means much to me for two reasons. First, the dove Noah released from the ark as they anxiously awaited the end to the Great Flood returned with an olive branch… symbolizing hope! How very appropriate today.

Second, we all know how important the use of olive oil is in the Bible be it for anointing, cleansing or nourishment.

Gabrielle was given to her in honor of the archangel, Gabriel. Gabriel is a messenger angel who was entrusted to deliver three extremely important messages to three extremely important people: Daniel, Zechariah and the virgin Mary. WOW!

You can check all this out in the scriptures.

We named our children not only in the hope that their names would reflect their personalities, but also in the hope that their lives would indeed revolve around The Lord Jesus Christ.

But, what does all this have to do with… hope?

Easy! Names mean something. I could write another huge blog on this, and maybe I will! It’s worth a look for sure! But for now, let’s look at the Hebraic meanings of the names of our three Old Testament patriarchs. They each mean something, and I think you’ll make the connection!

Noah: “Rest; Relief; Comfort”

~Genesis 5: 29~ “Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, ‘May he bring us relief from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the Lord has cursed’.

Hmmmm. Sounds to me like Noah’s dad was looking to Noah for hope and named him for such. We know, Noah obeyed the Lord and built an ark. He not only saved his family and the many animals, but also started a new nation.

Abraham: “Father of many; Father lifted up; Father exalted”

~Genesis 12: 2-3~ “And I will make you into a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Hmmmm. Sounds to me like God was restoring AND providing hope for future generations. Through Abraham, God promises to keep a line of descendants, in other words, believers here on earth until His return. Oh, and by the way… Jesus was part of Abraham’s earthly line!

Joseph: “To increase, May Jehovah add”

~Genesis 50: 19-20~ “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to keep many people alive.”

Hmmmm. Sounds to me like no matter what hardships, trials, even evil is thrown upon us, God has a plan for us to be blessed. That, my friends, is hope.

*A quick sidenote: ALL of these men and their stories amaze me, but the story of Joseph is one of my favorites in the entire Bible. Joseph’s brothers hated him… enough to throw him in a ditch and sell him into slavery. Joseph’s boss’s wife accused him of sexual immorality (to put it lightly). He spent time in prison. Yet, through all this and more, our Holy God took care of him and increased his position and wealth. I so encourage you to at least read his story if any of the three we discussed.*

So, what’s in a name? A LOT! As you can see, our three patriarchs were named appropriately. Each of them provided hope for their families and for future generations. Not only that, they stepped into their calling with great, GREAT faith! And WE, my friends, are a result of their faith, obedience and hope. Remember that!

Our next blog will be the last in this mini series of HOPE. We will discuss how faith and hope go hand in hand, like peanut butter and _____. Please be sure to join us!

Blessings today and in your journey through the scriptures!

~ Chris


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