Putting Hope in Christ


To escape the murderous vengeance of his brother, Jacob left his home and took refuge with his uncle. Being a sojourner, he of course hoped to establish his own family. He loved his cousin Rachel, and willingly served Laban seven years for her sake. To his surprised, that devious uncle tricked him in the arrangement of marriage, forcing Jacob to work another seven years for him. In the end, Jacob served Laban a total of fourteen years for Rachel. During the first seven years, the mind of Jacob was filled with fancy, charm, joy and warmth. He knew that another day worked was another day less of waiting, and another day sooner to take Rachel as his wife. Love is a wonderful and powerful force. Because Jacob loved Rachel, he experienced those seven years as though it was just a few days (Genesis 29:20). The greatest hope in the heart of Jacob was to be married to Rachel. All of the motivation for his toil and servitude originated from love.


Jacob had 12 sons, of which he especially favoured Joseph because Joseph was Rachel’s eldest and born in his old age. Rachel died young, so Jacob put all his love and hope on the person of Joseph, arousing the jealous hatred of his other sons towards their brother. They sold him into slavery in Egypt and lied to their father. Jacob thought that his beloved had been torn apart by wild beasts, and was devastated. Later, he put all of his hope into Benjamin, also born of Rachel, and regarded Benjamin to be as essential as his own life. Jacob took Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin in turn as his personal hope. When his beloved departed one after the other, he was inconsolable and lost his motivation to live.


Joseph was a slave and prisoner for 13 years in Egypt. He was falsely accused, mistreated, and maligned, yet he still feared, waited for and put his hope in God. Throughout, God did not abandon him, but stayed with him and gave him success in everything he did. Finally, God permitted him to correctly interpret Pharaoh’s dream, so that he was elevated from a prisoner to the Vizier of all Egypt. Pharaoh awarded him the name of Zaphenath-Paneah, meaning Treasury of All Glory or Saviour of the World. During the seven years of abundance, Joseph stored up much grain for the people of Egypt, so that in the following seven years of famine, people from all the lands received their supply of food from him. Joseph toiled for Pharaoh and the people for 14 years, becoming the hope of survival for many during the famine, and was also the saviour of the whole land of Egypt.   


By the will of the Holy Father, Jesus Christ was sent, was betrayed, was disgraced, suffered and accepted death. Then He rose from the dead to become the Saviour of all sinners and bestow to us eternal life. The salvation accomplished by Christ and the name, power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and praise due to Him far exceed that of Joseph. In the same way that Joseph became the hope and salvation of the people then, Jesus Christ has become our hope and salvation.


Jacob put his hope on people. When he lost it, he had no more motivation and goal for life. If we erroneously put our hope on the people, affairs and things of this short life, we will be equally disappointed and heart-broken. Only Jesus Christ is the true hope and assurance of our lives, for He is the unchanging, faithful Lord. Jesus Christ the bridegroom has promised that the day of the wedding feast of the lamb in heaven will come. The Church which is His bride should joyously testify for Him on earth, offer love for love, submit to the Father, patiently serve, be adorned, and wait and hope for the return of Christ.


“...Christ in you, the hope of glory…When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 1:27, 3:4)


By: Daniel To