Friday, May 04, 2012

How long does a promise take?

For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.

Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Heb. 6:13-20

Read this passage yesterday. In the previous section, there was the great promise from God that he does not forget what I have done. It seems that this promise is reaffirmed as God speaks about blessing Abraham. Now I know that these are the words of the writer of the letter, and not God speaking directly and personally. On the other hand, God uses his word, the Bible, to speak directly, so I have no issue with reflecting upon the personal application of these words.

But the key is not the promise of God so much as the patience of Abraham. I know the story, I know how impatient Abraham actually was at the time. It must have been quite an internal struggle.

"Lord, how long do I have to be patient?" I ask this question a lot. Abraham waited a lifetime to see the ultimate expression of God's promise fulfilled. Am I willing to wait that long?

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