Hebrews 6: 13 – 20
As we continue our study on the book of Hebrews, written specifically to the Jews – the saved and the unsaved, we understand that the Epistle was written so that the Jews would understand what it means to be saved. To those who were not saved, the writer presents a strong reason on why they should move from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. He asked them to abandon Judaism which was a shadow of things spoken about in the coming, the life, death, burial and resurrection of our only Lord and Savior, Jesus.
The writer had completely shown the difference between the Believer and the Un-Believer when he presented the scenario of the parched ground that soaks up the rain and brings forth its fruits, signifying the Believing one who receives the Word of God, believes in it and eventually becomes fruitful. Comparing it to the other parched ground that refuses to soak up the rain that falls on it; this ground does not bring forth fruits and at its best it could only bring forth thorns – which were not good for anything but to be burnt; they became a waste of space.
The writer advised that the un-believers become followers of them who had responded positively to the message of the Gospel.
The writer paused in his presentation in Hebrews 5: 10; he had started on the subject of the High Priest and the Priesthood. He made it clear that Aaron was a High Priest on behalf of the Nation of Israel only; and Jesus’ priesthood supersedes the priesthood of Aaron because it extends beyond the Nation of Israel to the world as a whole. The writer could only compare the Priesthood of Jesus to that of Melchizedek who was also a High Priest when Israel was not in existence.
He was about to make a presentation on the Priesthood of Melchizedek but paused because he felt his audience was not mature enough and somethings needed to be made clear to them. Therefore, the issue of Melchizedek was postponed to the Seventh Chapter of the Epistle. One of the very important things he discussed was the issue of Salvation (which we discussed in our last two articles) and how Salvation existed even before the Nation of Israel; the Old covenant or Judaism was created. It existed even at the time of Abraham.
Abraham was the only example in the Old Testament the writer could point to when we talk about absolute trust/faith in God; and it’s for this reason, that he (Abraham) is called the Father of Faith or the Father of all who believe. He wasn’t saved by FAITH or OBEDIENCE to some LAW or COMMANDMENTS in the Old Covenant or CIRCUMCISION but by FAITH in God. In other words, God spoke to him and he simply believed that God was able to do as He says (the promises God gave, inclusive).
When God makes a PROMISE, not only will He keep it, HE MUST keep it, irrespective of the individual.
At the time Abraham existed, there was no Nation of Israel, there was no Old Testament and there was no Judaism. Abraham was from the Ur in Chaldea; he was an idol worshipper who got apprehended due to the grace and mercy of God. Abraham did not have it in him to look for God; all he knew was the idol they worshipped until God accosted him. This Abraham became the FATHER of everyone and not only the JEWS. He was the FATHER of Ishmael and Isaac.
We all came through this MAN called Abraham, Jews or Gentiles and his audience (the writers) had no choice but to concur with that fact. So when God gave him (Abraham) the promise, He had no choice but to look for someone greater than Himself to swear by. But God did not find anyone greater, so He decided to take an OATH in His own name; again this was the level at which Abraham was at that time and nothing strange was happening that was oblivious to him.
Abraham had no choice because God had vowed to stand by the promises and more so it was God who had to work out the manifestation of the promises. It was not Abraham’s desire to travel to Canaan; it was not his desire to become the Father of all nations, neither did he have a desire for the whole world to be blessed through him. IT WAS ALL GOD’S IDEA. Abraham was a spectator in the whole saga. God was bound to His Word and irrespective of Abraham being faithful or not, God remained responsible for the fulfillment of the PROMISE(s) He gave.
Knowing the weakness of MAN and knowing Abraham in this case, God swore through an OATH to fulfill the details of His promise on Himself because when Men make promises, they guarantee them by an appeal to some authority above them so that if in any issue or dispute, the same authority can bring peace between the parties, and hence the OATH is binding. God in His desire to afford the heirs of the promise, He bound Himself by an OATH. He stood on both sides of the animals cut in pieces while Abraham was asleep.
The PROMISE and the OATH became the two immutable facts, unchangeable and irreversible; nothing could change and because it was impossible for God to lie, we who have believed and responded to the message of the Gospel can have great confidence knowing that we have an assurance and a hope. God assured Abraham about the future by pledging to him. It is called the HOPE for which the soul is anchored to, safe and secure as it enters the inner presence of God, even behind the veil.
All God did for Abraham, He did for all the children that came from his loins, Jews and Gentiles through Jesus, who went from the first dimension (Outer Court) straight through to the Holiest of All (the very presence of God) and who became our High Priest forever. His (Jesus) priesthood could not be compared to that of Aaron, which was offered once a year and restricted to one Nation. It was a far better one. It was one that the writer states, was after the order of Melchizedek.
I can imagine the look on the faces of the unbelieving Jews as I conclude with this Charles Haddon Spurgeon quote, “If we had come to a new point as to believing, should we not have come to a new point as to the ordinances in which those beliefs are embodied? I think so. The evident intent of Christ in giving us settled ordinances, and especially in settling this one which so clearly commemorates his blood shedding, was that we might know that the truth of his sacrifice is for ever fixed and settled, and must unchangeably remain the essence of his gospel. Neither nineteen centuries, nor nineteen thousand centuries, can make the slightest difference in this truth, nor in the relative proportion of this truth to other truths, so long as this dispensation lasts.”
Keep it right here and be refreshed!