“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:13-20 (NKJV)
The author reminds us of God’s promise to Abraham. God took an oath in His own name that He would indeed do these things. This is sorta the ancient equivalent to a legal contract someone might make today.
Then we are told that there are good reasons we can God’s promises. The first is that God doesn’t change. Since God doesn’t change He won’t break His Word. If He has said He will do it, we can be sure He will. Also since God doesn’t change, if He was able to do it in the past He is still able to do it today. Secondly, for God to say He would do it and then not do it would make Him a liar. God isn’t a liar. God doesn’t lie, ever.
God’s promises are trustworthy because God is always faithful. The phrase, “we who have fled to him for refuge”, pictures a person who fled to one of the cities of refuge that provided protection for someone who accidentally killed another (Numbers 35). As Christians we have also fled for safety to the place of security and protection from the punishment against sin. We must hold on to his promise, refusing to let go no matter what might happen around us.
The character of God is such that He is always faithful to His Word. If God has said it you can be sure it will come to pass because He is always does exactly what He says he will do. As we’ve already seen, this is what our hope is based on.
Then we are told why it’s so important that we have this Biblical hope. Biblical hope is an anchor for our souls. Now I’m not a boat-man. Never have been never will be, but I do understand the purpose of an anchor. When a boat drops anchor it is so that it will stay in that one spot. The wind and waves may blow and beat against the boat. But if it is anchored properly it won’t be blown away. Hope is an anchor for us against the storms of life and spiritual struggles we will face.
The author says our anchor is sure and steadfast. The idea behind sure and steadfast is that it is unbending, unwavering, and cannot be dislodged. This means that no matter what storms come into our lives the anchor will hold. In order for an anchor to give that kind of security or confidence to a ship it must be hooked into something that is stronger than ship. It must be hooked into something that is stronger than the winds that blow against it and the waves that beat on it. As Christians our anchor is hooked into someone of immeasurable strength and power, Jesus Christ.
The author says that our anchor enters the Presence behind the veil. Now, for the Jew, this phrase conjures up pictures of the Temple, with the outer court, the Holy Place, and then there is the Holy of Holies within the veil. This was where the very presence of God dwelt. What the writer is telling us is that the hope that is our anchor, is secured in the presence of God because Jesus has already gone and sat down at the right hand of God. God’s promises to us are sure because of Jesus.
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us–by me, Silvanus, and Timothy–was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 (NKJV)
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32 (NKJV)
Hope is an anchor for our souls because of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. Right from the moment Adam and Eve fell, God promised that one-day someone would come to crush the serpent’s head and destroy his hold over mankind. Jesus ultimately fulfilled this promise on the cross. If God will keep that promise even though it meant the horrific death of His only Son, won’t He keep all the others?
If I can look at the cross and see that the penalty for my sins has been paid, know that because of what took place there my sins can be forgiven and I can have a relationship with God, then I can look at that same cross, and know that God will fulfill every other promise He has given. This gives me hope.
Commentator William Barclay said, “There is something in Christian hope that not all the shadows can quench–and that something is the conviction that God is alive. No man is hopeless so long as there is the grace of Jesus Christ; and no situation is hopeless so long as there is the power of God.”
How is your hope in Christ an anchor for your soul?