Proverbs 23:18

For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
– Proverbs 23:18

The word for end refers to the last, or future time. There is an end to the way sinners are going. Wisdom understands the snapshot of a moment isn’t the whole picture. The word for expectation literally means a cord. It is put figuratively for hope. We see the idea of connection in the saying. Sinners are in a way that is connected to an end and likewise with the wise (Proverbs 1:29-33). Wisdom, regardless of momentary circumstances, has a good expectation and will be rewarded (Proverbs 24:14).

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Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
– Proverbs 13:12

The word for deferred means to stretch or draw out. It indicates a hope, or expectation, that is delayed. The phrase heart sick is akin to what we would call depression, though not necessarily the full clinical sense. The point is the unbearable discouragement of endless waiting. When that longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. This imagery is used a few times in Proverbs (Proverbs 3:18; 11:30). It indicates a source that is life-giving and sustaining. The phrase here speaks of a reviving of the overwrought soul.

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Proverbs 10:28

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
– Proverbs 10:28

This proverb takes the long view of wisdom. It is not so much concerned with near-future earthly life as it is with after life. Many look at the Proverbs as a collection of home-spun wisdom sayings that help you get on in life. If you pay attention, along the way Solomon drops wisdom that lets you know much more is at stake. This is one of those proverbs and there are others (Proverbs 11:7; 14:32). Righteousness shall ultimately be rewarded with eternal joy (Psalm 16:9-11). Wickedness will also be rewarded by eternal punishment (Psalm 112:10; Revelation 21:8).

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Psalm 119:49

Remember the word unto thy servant,
upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
~ Psalm 119:49

The seventh stanza of this Psalm is about comfort in and through God’s Word. The Psalmist draws strength from fulfilled promises and ready help in distress from the Word. The result is strengthening rather than straying when faced with derision.

Remember the word unto thy servant,

This is a prayer of faith that isn’t a reminder to God but rather an appeal to God’s faithfulness to His Word. God has spoken it and will also do it (Isaiah 46:11). He isn’t seeking some new thing but praying in line with our Lord when He taught the disciples to pray, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10).

Remember is a term associated with God’s covenant faithfulness. He remembers His covenant and therefore will keep the promise (Genesis 9:15-16; Leviticus 26:42-45). This was the way Moses prayed (Exodus 32:13).

upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

Comfort for the Psalmist did not rest in signs and wonders but his hope was upon the Word of God. The patriarchs of faith in Hebrews 11 died without receiving the promises (Hebrews 11:39), but they died in faith and faith is the “substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 1:1). Their hope was in the sure Word of God and had no other ground. So the Psalmist turns to God and His Word at all times for hope and comfort.

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