S (Scripture):Hebrews 6: 13 When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater. 14 He said, I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants. 15 So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience. 16 People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument. 17 When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. 18 So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. 19 This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us, since he became a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
O (Observation): God promises to Abraham that God will bring about many descendants from Abraham. Abraham had little to do with this, other than to be patient and let God prove trustworthy. Generation after generation are born, and we have proof of God making good on a pledge.
Knowing that God makes good on pledges, this gives God’s people hope. That hope includes access to what was known as the “inner sanctuary” of the temple. This was the “holy of holies.” This space was where only the high priests could be admitted. And this was also where God was believed to be most fully present on earth during the times of Temple worship of God.
And yet, in Jesus’ death and resurrection, the temple curtain was torn, and God made it known that ALL have access to God – Jesus being the first with full access to God. Now, Jesus makes it possible for all of us to access God fully.
A (Application): When was the last time someone broke a promise to you? When was the last time you broke a promise you made to someone else?
“Yeah, I’ll be there.” “Yeah, I can help you move.” “Yeah, I’m open that day.”
Unfortunately, as a parent, I break promises to my kids: “I’ll be there in a second,” “we can go to the playground after school,” “we will go out to see that movie.”
Whether for time or budgetary issues, I break promises, and that hurts me and my kids. My pledges are not always kept. I repent of that and wish to be wiser in my commitments.
But thanks be to God that God makes good on God’s pledges to us all. God continues to bless the world through Abraham’s descendants. And in some amazing turn of events, we are seeing many different groups of folks blessing one another.
The world isn’t perfect, but I can see some perfect things in the world: the innocence in my 5 year old; people helping in response to natural disasters; my wife, as she begins working as an educational assistant for special education (and putting up with me on a full-time basis).
Blessings abound, since we have full access to God, just as Jesus does. God promises to make many descendants from Abraham. God also promises to bless the world through Abraham.
What blessings can you see? How has God blessed you? Or perhaps a better questions is this: How is God working through you to bless others?
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to have hope in your pledge to be present in the world and to have access to your full presence. Amen.