The Passion Translation® of the Bible reveals a dimension to the concept of waiting on God: Entwining. The translators derived this from qavah, the Hebrew word customarily translated as “wait,” yet also a root word for rope. A rope is made of strands twisted or entwined, strands bound together with the parallel purpose of binding, wrapping around, or tying other things together. However, if one says “entwining” to a gardener, what will likely come to mind? Vines.
Vines are those captivating plants that entwine up trellises, stakes, posts, branches of neighboring plants, or anything nearby, by encircling, wrapping, twisting, twining, and drawing support for their vigorous growth. What vines are flourishing in your garden right now? Morning glory, star jasmine, passion vine, cucumbers, and grapevine are filling my garden views at the moment, offering insightful instruction and pretty pictures on how to wait on the Lord.
Yes, we will follow your ways, Lord Yahweh, and entwine our hearts with yours. Isaiah 26:8 TPT
The Hebrew word for wait means to “tie, twist, bind, entwine (to make a rope).” Waiting on God is never passive, it is binding out hearts together as [we] wait for God’s plan to unfold.footnote from Isaiah 40:31, The Passion Translation®, copyright ©2018 Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc.
Learning from Vines
Entwining is the movement of vines to encircle and embrace a structure, seeking strength. Vines are floppy and undirected on their own, stunted and befuddled until they grip a support…and then they burst upward, going forth with vitality and verve. They quickly fill their place, and then some, with an abundance of leaves and branchlets and more leaves and branchlets, with flowers and fruit along the way. Once secured to their structure, they take over! Vines are a double-wrapping metaphor, testimony to the bursting vigor of God’s abundant life. Link here to another blog about that.
What a powerful metaphor to apply in understanding a time of waiting; that is, to embrace a waiting period—minutes, months, or decades—as a time set apart to “entwine our hearts” with the Lord, an appointment or engagement to wrap our thoughts and emotions around God. We are wise to make this equation in our minds: Waiting equals Entwining. The world leads us to impatience at having to wait, and an endless succession of speedier technology that never satisfies. But with the Lord, waiting grows our strength and satisfaction in Him.
May we learn to think about and ponder his Words, his ways, his history at every pause, hesitation, or possible obstruction to moving forward. The Lord is using the time to grow our grip of him. Let your garden help you grasp what is happening, along with the following Scriptures contain the Hebrew word qavah:
Then you will know that I am Yahweh and I will never disappoint those who entwine their hearts with mine. Isaiah 49:23 TPT
But those who entwine their hearts with Yahweh will experience divine strength. Isaiah 40:31 TPT
Could anyone be disgraced when he has entwined his heart with yours? Psalm 25:3 TPT
Escort me into your truth; take me by the hand and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation. I have wrapped my heart into your all day long. Psalm 25:5 TPT
I waited and waited and waited some more, patiently knowing God would come through for me. Psalm 40:1 TPT
Wrap God’s grace around your heart and he will be the one to vindicate you. Proverbs 20:22 TPT
Jesus is the Vine
This qavah contemplation gives endearing dimension to Jesus’ confession on the evening celebrating Passover, his last supper with disciples before his sacrificial death.
I am the vine; you are the branches. John 15:5 NIV
Jesus himself entwines his heart with the Father, implied in his metaphor of being a vine. As part of his growth, branching from him, we are strengthened to follow his ways and wrap our hearts and lives around God.
“My prayer is not for [the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me…” John 17:20-21 NIV
God draws us with His strong, compelling love for us. Sometimes it feels full of tension, no doubt. His outreaching gestures pull us, rope-like, yet intending to bind us to Him.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. Hosea 11:4 NIV
Such is the security that he wants us to experience, with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit: twined and bound together, an unbreakable cord.
…a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 KJV
Consider Israel, the Lord’s Vineyard
Consider how powerful the declaration that Israel as a nation is the Lord’s vineyard, intended as a special place, a pleasant garden full of vines; that is, people with hearts entwined with the Lord.
The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. Isaiah 5:7 NIV
God is insightful in calling Israel a vineyard. This is not a superficial botanical flourish but a hint through horticulture to draw us to deep, refreshing revelation, resounding the idea of a people bound together with hearts tender and tendrilled to God. Let us encircle Israel with the declaration of God’s desire:
Brethren, [with all] my heart’s desire and goodwill for [Israel], I long and pray to God that they may be saved. Romans 10:1 AMPC
Prophecy says that all of God’s followers will be “gathered” to Israel, in Jerusalem. “Gathered” returns us to qavah, the Lord’s move to draw us and bind nations together like many strands of a rope into a strong tie, encircling Jerusalem. What a glorious unity, a cord unbroken in its honor of God:
In this coming age, Jerusalem will be known as the throne of the Eternal. All the nations of the world will be drawn [qavah] there to her, to honor the name of the Eternal. The days of people insisting on their own stubborn ways dictated by their own evil hearts will be gone. Jeremiah 3:17 VOICE
Prayer: O Lord, You are mighty: You are the Lord of Hosts. You bring everything back around and make connections in captivating ways. How could I imagine that my impatience in waiting—from inconveniently long post office lines to desperate, seemingly slow answers to my heart-desired prayers—hold such monumental significance? These holy moments entwine my heart with Yours. Help me trade tension for tendrils to your tender, loving-kindness. May I grow up through uppityness and indignation to waiting and prevail in endurance. You will never disappoint me! Let me look to my garden vines with a greater sense of destiny, knowing that the grander work of crafting an unbroken cord is taking place that will soon be surrounding your throne. No King but Jesus! Hallelujah and Amen.
Here’s what I’ve learned throughout all: Don’t give up, don’t be impatient. Be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you. Psalm 27:4 TPT
Many thanks to the brilliant work in The Passion Translation®, Isaiah: The Vision, copyright ©2018 Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com Visit www.thepassiontranslation.com/
Dig deeper into the layers of meaning in the mention of vines in God’s Word in the A-to-Z Primer of Plants in God’s Word, “The Vinedresser’s Creed”
Ready to grow your own? Find information about growing the Bible’s vines, grapevine and cucumber, in the Plant Guide
AMPC notes Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Classic Edition, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org
KJV denotes Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version published in 1611, authorized by King James I of England, which is public domain in the United States.
NIV denotes Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.®
TPT denotes Scripture quotations taken from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com