Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
A great example in the history of the Jews of ″faith and patience″ (Hebrews 6:12) is Abraham. God called him with a promise of blessing him with numerous descendants (Genesis 12:2). It took 25 years before that promise began to be fulfilled with the birth of Isaac. During the period of waiting, God continued to sustain Abraham's faith with His repeated promises (Genesis 12:7; 17:5-6). Then in Genesis 22:16-18, God made the same promise, this time with an oath. This was after Abraham showed that he trusted God enough to be willing to sacrifice Isaac. The writer argues that God need not make any oath, for one has to swear an oath on ″someone greater than themselves″ (Hebrews 6:16). Although there is no one greater than God, nevertheless, in accommodating the need of Abraham and his descendants to trust God, God swore an oath-on himself (v.13). This was a double assurance to Abraham. First, God does not lie and His character never changes. Second, the oath was a specific guarantee that what God had promised would come to pass. On these two counts (″unchangeable things″, v. 18), we can be greatly encouraged with a ″firm and secure″ hope (v. 19) that God will bestow His promised blessings if we persevere in our faith.
This hope is rooted in Christ, who is the ultimate fruit of God's promise to Abraham-that he will be blessed with many descendants. God reaffirmed His promise to Abraham after Isaac was born (Genesis 22:16-18). Abraham even lived to see the next stage of God's promise realised when Esau and Jacob were born (Genesis 25:23; see 25:7, 26). God's promise was fully expressed in Christ, through whom Abraham's innumerable descendants (Galatians 6:16; the Israel of faith, the church) would be blessed. This is a sure hope, ″an anchor for the soul″ (Hebrews 6:19). The anchor was one of the earliest symbols of the Christian faith; the Greek word anchura also sounded like en kurio (″in Christ″, a repeated phrase in the New Testament).
This anchor of hope is connected with Jesus our prodromos (″our official forerunner″, who went before us),25 who as our unique High Priest entered beyond the curtain to the Holy of Holies, so that the way can be made safe for us. In this regard, His priesthood is of the ″order of Melchizedek″ (Hebrews 5:6), the significance of which will be explained later. In Christ, God's ancient promise has been fulfilled, and our hearts can be firmly encouraged to continue keeping the faith.
25Gooding, An Unshakeable Kingdom, 115.
Consider Abraham's example. Reflect on how God sought to sustain his faith, and how he waited for it to be fulfilled. What lessons can you draw from this in your own life?
Jesus is our forerunner. What does this mean for you personally? Thank Him today!