“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6.17-20).
As one who writes regularly, I feel a mandate to attempt to assist the reader in seeing the marvelous word picture drawn in the quoted passage. Actually there is more than one picture, but our focus will be upon only one of these pictures, i.e. Hope, the Anchor of the Soul. First we will take a brief look at the word anchor and its significance. The word which translates anchor comes from a root word literally meaning curved or crooked. This feature is a critical feature of a good anchor. It is designed with curves and crooks in it so that it is not easily moved; by design the irregularities in it hang onto every feature of the bottom making it a useful tool in preventing a vessel from drifting from its desired mooring.
Hope in this passage is represented as an anchor, but this anchor does not plunge beneath into an unknown abyss as is the case when a ship drops anchor. Rather, this anchor is cast upward where it lodges somewhere near “...the Presence behind the veil.” The veil in the book of Hebrews has reference to the place where God dwells and where Jesus passed after His resurrection (see Hebrews 9.3 & 10.20). The location and hence the effectiveness of the anchor are not unknowns in this text; to the contrary, that is the point, i.e. the anchor is in a place of absolute effectiveness!
Two words are used by the Hebrews writer to give assurance to those who have hope in Jesus. The anchor's capacity to stay where it is placed, i.e. within the veil, is described as being both “sure and steadfast.” These two words speak to the anchor's ability to hold its place; it is “sure and steadfast.” In the storms of life this anchor remains unmoved regardless of the size or intensity of the waves which strain at the cable. Within the veil, there is nothing of human origin that can touch it! One reason that the anchor holds so well is because it is strategically placed such that nothing, absolutely nothing, can succeed in approaching unto it; it is beyond the pale of human existence and transcends into the world of the Eternal!
With this assurance, the believer can rest in confidence knowing that nothing apart from his own resolve and faithfulness can break the bond that insures his ability to eventually enter into heaven itself. The objective of every believer is to go one day and enter into the very presence of God. That objective, apart from the assurances given in the focus text, is not attainable by human beings. However, with the blessings and watch-care that attend the placement of this anchor, there is no cause for alarm. The anchor is as secure as God Himself and that is as secure as anything could ever be.
God is a constant! He does not change neither does His will. This being said, nothing could be more secure than the picturesque scene painted by the inspired pen of the Hebrews writer. The conditions during which this epistle was penned were everything but settled. Persecutions and even death waited around every bend; nothing was settled it seemed. Yet, here in the midst of the howling storms of life, a grotto existed which could withstand any assault, even one mounted by Satan himself. Hope, was and is the anchor of the believer's soul!
1. Is true biblical hope without basis or reason?
2. What assurance do we have that there is someone beyond the veil?
3. What external forces can effect a change in the security of the anchor within the veil?
4. How important is hope to the spirit of man? Who needs hope? Why?
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