The Meaning of Hope as an Instinct of the Soul
Psalm 22:9-10
But you are he that took me out of the womb: you did make me hope when I was on my mother's breasts.…

The text is a strong figure intended to express the idea that hope is an inbred sentiment of the soul. The body, it is true, may exist without the eye, but in a very incomplete state. And there are emaciated souls, souls with deadened senses and broken faculties. But hope is yet an instinct keeping the face of the soul ever towards the future. Now, this instinct —

I. IMPLIES THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN THE CONSTITUTION OF OUR NATURE. For it is one of the chief blessings of humanity.

1. It is one of the most powerful impulses to action.

2. It is one of the chief elements of support under trial. Hope buoys us up beneath the load; gives us a steady anchorage amid the fiercest surgings of the storm.

3. It is a source of joy. The joys of memory and the pleasures of the passing hour are not to be compared with the joys of hope.

II. SUGGESTS A FUTURE STATE OF EXISTENCE. It may not prove such existence, but it does much in that direction. For —

1. Analogy supports it. All our senses and appetites have provision made for them — light for the eye, sounds for the ear, etc. And so in our social relations.

2. The Divine goodness leads to belief in it.

III. MEANS THAT PROGRESS IN BLESSEDNESS IS THE LAW OF OUR BEING. Hope points not only to the future, but to good in the future.


1. It reveals eternal blessedness; and —

2. Supplies means of its attainment which are both soul pacifying and purifying.

V. INDICATES THE CONGRUITY OF THE RELIGIOUS LIFE WITH OUR NATURE. Therefore, if we quench this hope midnight reigns; and sin tends to do this.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

WEB: But you brought me out of the womb. You made me trust at my mother's breasts.

On the Nature and Influence of Hope
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