Hebrews 6:13-20: The Promise of God
September 10, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
How do you know that God will do what he has promised to do? We often think of God’s promises, in the plural, but there is an overarching promise, in the singular, that holds together all his promises and is the guarantee of them all. It is this promise which the author of Hebrews is talking about here, and he is seeking to persuade us that we can trust it.
First, what is this promise? It is God’s promise to Abraham. God’s promise to Abraham was first given in Genesis chapter 12:
“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
His promise to Abraham is that through Abraham all nations will be blessed. This promise to Abraham is fulfilled in Christ and received through faith in him (see Galatians 3:14). What this means is that God promises that if we trust in Christ, we will inherit all the blessing of God forever. That’s quite a promise! How do we know whether it’s true? Can we really trust it?
The reason why we can trust this promise, the author of Hebrews argues, is because not only did God make that promise (and therefore because God is God you can trust what he promises), but also because he “swore by himself.” To explain what he means by that phrase, he quotes from another time that God reiterated his promise to Abraham, in Genesis 22 verse 17:
“I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”
By saying that God “swore” by himself, he is not saying that God “cussed” or “uttered rude words.” He is saying that God is guaranteeing that his promise would come about by saying that it is as certain as he is certain. It is a way of underlining that promise by saying that his very own name is at stake. Therefore, the author of Hebrews is arguing you can trust this promise! You can put your trust in Christ! Don’t go back to Judaism, continue with Christ! For God’s promise will come true!
Now, that matters hugely in the Christian life because once we have it settled in our minds that what God promised will certainly come true, it gives us a security and a stability that means that we can keep on with what God has called us to do no matter what the storms of life may throw at us. The author of Hebrews put it like this:
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
Trust in God’s promise, for then you will have an anchor to keep your very soul firm and secure in hope whatever life’s challenges may be!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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