For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,Hebrews 6:13(NASB)
The subject matter of Hebrew centres on the Person, work and office of the Lord Jesus Christ and emphasises His eternal deity and unique manhood. It illustrates His superiority to prophets and angels, kings and priests.. and it details His supremacy in His high priestly ministry and the exclusivity of His sacrificial offering. But it also gives believers a number of serious warnings.
Chapter 6 begins with the third of five warnings, which catalogues the dangers of mature believers falling away from the truth and reverting to spiritual infancy. However, it continues with a reminder of God's never-failing faithfulness to His people. and uses Abraham to illustrate this truth.. for we read, "when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself."
The God of glory made a number of promises to His servant, Abraham. The first was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, when the Lord gave him a seven-fold promise - "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives. And go from your father's house.. to the land which I will show you. I will make you a great nation and I will bless you, and make your name great so you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse... and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
Promises were made when Abraham set out from Haran, by faith, to go to the promised land, and again by the oaks of Mamre, when the birth of Isaac was reaffirmed. But it was not until Abraham obeyed God's command... to "take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.."... that God swore this oath to keep His promise.
As Abraham lifted the knife to slay his son, the Lord halted him and provided a ram as a substitute. It was at this critical time in Abraham's life, that God gave His greatest promise to His obedient servant - "and when He made this promise, since He could swear by no one greater, God swore by Himself." And the promise God made relates to Person, Work, Ministry and Office of CHRIST JESUS our Lord and His sacrificial death on the cross and glorious resurrection - a promise that is pertinent to ALL who believe on Him.
This staggering promise, that has reverberated down the corridors of history, was confirmed with an oath. In a court of law one is required to swear by the highest possible authority. Such as oath is often sealed with the words, "so help me God!" However there is no greater power or sovereign authority than the almighty God, Who made the heaven and earth by the word of His power.. "and so the Lord swore by Himself, since He could swear by no one greater".
Because Abraham is the father of faith and all believers are his 'spiritual seed', God's pledge and guarantee to Abraham encompasses every man, woman, boy and girl who has believed in God... and Jesus Christ, Whom He has sent to be the Saviour of the world.
The assurance we have in our great salvation, by faith in Christ, is rooted in this oath the Lord made to His servant. It is a pledge and a guarantee to all the spiritual seed of Abraham - not only to those who are of the Law, but also to gentiles of faith - not only to the Israel of God (believing Jews pre and post cross) but also to believing gentiles.
When the enormity of God's oath to our father Abraham takes root in our heart and mind, how can we ever doubt God's goodness towards us or question our eternal salvation and the eternal security that is ours in Christ. God's promise to Abraham includes ALL who believe in the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting - and since God could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself. Praise His holy name.
"By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son. Indeed, I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore.. and your Seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
The Lord showed the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan of salvation when He made His oath to Abraham.. and He is the same yesterday, today and forever - and it is impossible for Him to lie. May we who have trusted Him for salvation take refuge in the strong encouragement we gain from this passage and take hold of the salvation that is ours by faith in Christ.
May we treasure it as a steadfast and sure anchor of our soul, and rejoice that Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Heavenly Father, how we praise and thank You for the promise you made to Abraham which has its fulfilment in all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. Thank You that Your word is true, Your promises are sure and Your truth endures from one generation to the next. Thank You that in Christ we have become part of that cloud of witnesses, both living and dead, who have been saved by grace through faith. May we press on into spiritual maturity and be a living testimony of the hope that we have in Christ, in Whose name we pray, AMEN.
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