Our next reading is Hebrews 6:13-20
v13: When G-d made that New Covenant promise, through the gospel, through the ministry of our Great High Priest – Yeshua, He did so through an oath. This is vital.
v14: Blessing and multiplication/abundance are repeated twice. Emphasised.
v15: He: still speaking about Abraham.
- Endured: Was patient, displayed long suffering. Abraham is an example of G-d’s faithfulness. Those who are not yet recipients of the promises of G-d must not despair but must endure. The promises may not be realised for a long time but in the end G-d will be faithful to what He has promised (2 Peter 3:9).
v16: If someone is unsure, or has a doubt, about an agreement, an oath, sworn by someone greater than himself, brings the issue to an end and the doubt is removed/taken away.
v17: G-d, wanted to show the fidelity of His Word, but the ‘problem’ was that there was no one greater than Himself to swear by. He, therefore, swore by Himself, and that was sufficient. Human beings, when they want to confirm something, or remove any doubt so that the dispute goes away, swear by One who is greater.
The way man behaves, and the way G-d behaves are so different that they cannot be compared or placed side by side (Isaiah 55:8-9) Man swore by someone greater – G-d swore by Himself.
v18: Two immutable (unchangeable) things: Two things are being set side by side in order to compare them. Both of these things being compared are unchangeable.
(The Greek word for ‘things’ is a word that is related to ‘pragmatic’. Pragmatic means to deal with things sensibly and realistically, in a way that is based on practical, rather than theoretical, considerations. I.e. It is easy to understand or self-evident.)
What are these two things that cannot be changed? This verse is understood in light of Heb 6:17. G-d’s ways are higher than mans. When making an oath G-d has no one greater to swear by so He swore by Himself. We can believe Him because He is unable to lie.
When men want to remove all doubt, they make an oath in One greater than themselves.
By placing these two things side by side G-d gives us a framework to help us understand it.
If we try to understand this verse without referring back to verse 17 we are left with a problem. One unchanging thing in this verse is that G-d cannot lie. However, we fall short on what the second unchanging ‘thing’ would be.
- Fled for refuge: We are fleeing from this world, because the world offers no hope and we are going to Him.
- The hope set before us: The promises of G-d are laid before us. We can be assured of them because G-d cannot lie.
v19: An anchor: These promises of G-d act as an anchor for our souls.
- Sure and steadfast: These promises are both sure (give us assurance) and are trustworthy or confirmed.
- Enters the Presence (within) the veil: Messiah’s ministry has made it possible for us to approach, boldly, the throne of grace – which is in the Holy of Holies. A veil separated the Holy place from the Most Holy Place.
v20: High Priest forever: Yeshua is our High Priest for eternity. Other high priests served for a limited period of time, before they died or retired.
- The order of Melchizedek: Yeshua, having secured an eternal priesthood, will have a ministry that lasts forever. The life He gives is eternal. The salvation He gives is eternal. This epistle is all about a promise. A promise that G-d made to Abraham, Through the ministry of Yeshua, we become the seed of Abraham. We have a hope that is real, certain, established, and confirmed by the Word of G-d. We are going to be heirs of that promise when G-d establishes His Kingdom. Throughout this epistle the writer uses Torah truth as a foundation to help us understand New Testament truth. If we do not understand the Old Testament truth, we are not going to be able to understand this New revelation. The Old Testament truth is set side by side with the New so that we can gain greater understanding as we compare and contrast the two.