“For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply you.’ And thus, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:13-15 (NAS)
Outside of Romans, the gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts, The letter to the Hebrews contains more citations of Old Testament passages than all the other books of the New Testament.
That shouldn’t seem unusual since it is written to those who would have a solid grasp on Old Testament writings. Our text above which the inspired writer of the Hebrew letter quotes, is found in the first book of the Bible, Genesis chapter twenty-two, verse seventeen. Like many other Old Testament passages referred to by New Testament writers, this is a partial quote of a verse. As always, we desire you be aware of the entire verse and its context from which it is quoted since the Hebrews would have been aware. And shortly we shall. Once before the LORD had blessed Abraham and issued promises with it as well. In Genesis 12:1-3 Abraham was called to leave his country and people, so that the LORD could make his name great and create through him a great nation. The final promise to Abraham was “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” These promises were to be born out through Abraham’s offspring. Twenty five years later through patience (and not without trial), Abraham’s unwavering belief in the LORD (Rom. 4:20-22) brought about the miracle child Isaac who was born outside of all conceivable physical possibilities. The beginning of God’s promise to bless all the families of the earth had begun. Yet it was after Abraham was willingly to offer up Isaac it was told him, “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. And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen. 22:16-18) As an aside, you will see brethren, that this promise of the LORD was based upon Abraham obeying and doing what the LORD had asked of Him. This is the full sense of what the Bible defines as faith-believing what God has said and executing it. Abraham’s faith had been tested and he came through with flying colors. Notice the writer of the Hebrew epistle states, “thus having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.? Certainly Abraham’s patience and faith brought to fruition the birth of Isaac. But is that all that he obtained as the promise? Jesus said it this way: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56) Abraham was able to see (know) that the promised Messiah would come in the flesh from his descendents. This sworn promise of God to Abraham was verified by Zacharias, the father of John the Immerser, as recorded in Luke 1:68-79, particularly verse 73, concerning Jesus Christ. We know the blessing of Abraham as defined by the Scripture was the promised indwelling Holy Spirit to believers to come through Jesus Christ as recorded in Galatians 3:14. If you have the Spirit of Christ in you, you belong to Christ and are Abraham’s true offspring according to promise. (Gal. 3:29) But how did you get the opportunity to become an heir? It has to do with the other promise given Abraham as recorded in Genesis 22, the promise of Abraham’s seed possessing the gate of his enemies. Once Jesus ascended to the throne on the true Mt Moriah (also know as Mt. Zion) in heaven, His enemy, Satan, was cast out and bound so he could no longer deceive the nations. (Rev. 20:1-3) The Seed now possessed the gate of His enemy. The gospel had and has free run throughout the world and with it, the opportunity to hear the gospel and receive the promised blessing, the Holy Spirit, whom God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). Gee, this sounds vaguely familiar doesn’t it? Abraham stands as a model of faith, patiently enduring knowing God delivers on His promises. The Hebrews were told to “show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end” (Heb. 6:11). The complete record of the Bible proves God delivers on His promises. Many more need this hope and promised blessing, so get out there and deliver the message!