Read Hebrews 6:13-20
It might help to recall verse 12 from our last reading to “follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.” Now it makes sense why the Preacher called out Abraham. You’ll recall Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years from the time God promised to multiply his descendants to the birth of Isaac. That was obedience we can learn from, too!
God is in the business of keeping his promises. We can be sure of that. The Preacher reminds us God sealed his promise to Abraham with an oath. In ancient times, when people wanted to guarantee their promise or give value to their word, they might swear by the divine name. Putting God’s name on your promise was intended to give it more authority. To break an oath would be extremely dishonoring to God. God cannot lie!
In present day, we’ve watered down the intention of an oath. Think of a child saying, “cross my heart and hope to die,” or an adult saying, “as God is my witness.” I also remember the swearing in of witnesses during a court trial using a Bible. The idea of receiving an oath from God would make sense to the Preacher’s audience even more.
What we can take away is that God’s promises can be relied upon without any doubt. God has every intention of following through his with promises. The Bible is full of promises that give us hope. “Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” I especially feel sorry for those people who have yet to “flee” to God! Where is their hope?
What are some of the promises of God you rely on? Are you using them as your “anchor” to keep you focused and joyful amidst the busyness of life? The Preacher talks of the hope we receive as a gift from these promises when he says, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Let that sink in just a bit. This is the line from this passage that really struck a chord with me. We will not get swept off into a future of insecurity so long as we are clinging to our anchor, Jesus, the Word.
Our Christian hope is anchored in God’s promise of eternal life with him. Jesus, as our high priest, has already entered God’s inner sanctuary. The price of our sin has already been paid. We may struggle with feeling worthy of such a sacrifice on our behalf. That’s what grace is all about, and our hope lies in Jesus alone.
God’s promises are many. A quick internet search revealed many different numbers, from 3,000 to 30,000 promises in the Bible! Proverbs 8:17 has a beautiful promise. “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.” Isaiah 40:31 is another favorite. “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” What great anchors of hope to bring us peace so we can live a joy-filled life no matter is happening around us!
Let’s pray. Lord, I am hopeful and thank you as I wait for your promise to be fulfilled. I look forward to that day when I see you face to face. In the meantime, I ask for your help to be faithful in my waiting. Thank you for the peace you give when I turn over my fears and concerns. Your word comforts and sustains me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.