Tiny Blooms of Hope
By Marlene Houk
Psalm 43:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
When we follow the LORD through His paths in the Bible, we discover a delightful corner tucked into the 13th book of the Old Testament where He pauses in leading us. He seems to say, “Let’s rest a minute in the second chapter of First Chronicles, and I’ll show you a lovely little spring garden blooming with hope. The tulips, jonquils, and hyacinths open their petals in an alcove of my Word that will enchant you in days to come when I seem far away.”
First Chronicles chapter two is like a tiny garden, tucked away in the forest of His words, beckoning to all who wander the holy paths of Scripture. As we look closer at verses, details begin to emerge. God Who planted the garden creates significant but tiny details in each flower of hope. Glorious colors of the many buds of hope spring to life in this chapter among 1,189 chapters. The women of 1 Chronicles 2 gently display hope through their stories, each one unique and stunning. Wandering around, we gaze at the rare orchids of women who were the great, great, great (14 generations) earthly aunts of the Lord Jesus Christ, born 4;000 years before Him. We inhale the fragrance of their importance as being in the earthly royal line of Christ, King David’s sisters. The petals of Abigail and Zeruiah’s lives in verse 16 wave gently in the Holy Spirit’s breeze, and we realize that names are important to God.
Your name is important to God. The King of Kings names each one of us, counts the hairs on our heads, engraves our names on the palms of His hands, and treads our daily lives. Understanding dawns as we realize that we will never fade into insignificance in His heart for He sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17), and His thoughts toward us are constant (Psalm 40:5). He has prepared a place for us where we can be with Him for eternity (John 14), and He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5)! The Lord weaves our stories into His plan for us as He places us at the crossroads of critical decisions. It is significant to note that God treats women individually, respectfully, and yet challenges them to fulfill His destiny for them. We influence others as we point them to the Lord.
And hope lifts her colorful head, slowly following the wind’s trail as she looks toward the sky. The women in I Chronicles 2 gather around this rarest of flowers, imitating her by looking beyond their present circumstances toward the rainbow of God’s promises. Their stories are made immortal as they help us grow above our troubles. And we too can look beyond the ugly stalks of sadness in our lives, knowing that God grows glorious colorful hope in our lives, causing our suffering to create survival guides for others.
Listed below are some of the varied ways in which these 14 women in I Chronicles 14 bring hope to us:
- Some names are repeated. Ephrath/Ephratah .vs. 19, 50. Repetition is an important learning tool in the Bible. Like the repetition of their names, our lives show forth His glory as multiple delicate petals repeatedly point to Him.
- In some verses, the woman’s relationship is mentioned first, then her name. vs. 21 and vs 24 (Abiah), vs. 26 (Atarah where the relationship of a wife is mentioned first) Our Redeemer has carefully chosen roles and responsibilities for women that lift us above the common life and elevate our lives to a holy significance.
- Some verses just mention the relationship. vs. 3 The Lord’s ways and thoughts are high above ours, and we rest in His choices.
- Sometimes, the feminine is only implied such as vs. 26 which uses the word, another, to suggest an additional wife. The economy of His words and yet the generosity of God’s repetition attract our attention. Whether small or great, God is aware of every tiny detail of our lives, and we can rest in His wisdom.
- Sometimes, as in verse 29, there is an extended explanation of the wife. It is especially important to follow the flow of words as they diminish and expand in a Scripture passage. Whether our lives seem small, or whether we’re in the spotlight, God’s messages to others through our stories are the most important part.
In all 14 women, hope wafts its perfume of significance, of purpose, and focus. Jesus brings eternal importance to our lives with His good plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He fills our daily lives with purpose and satisfies our longing to know Him. His beams of Sonlight warm our hearts with radiant hope!
Marlene is an author and teacher of Bible studies. She may be reached at Bible167@gmail.com
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