13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. 16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:13-20)
When was the last time someone lied to you or let you down? Or perhaps it’s easier to ask: when was the last time you lied? The last time you didn’t follow through on a promise? For me, it was just this morning when I texted someone I was “on my way” whilst rushing out the door. From white lies to heartbreaking betrayal, we all are painfully aware that this side of Heaven, neither our neighbors nor our own hearts are completely trustworthy.
Consider, then, the magnitude of what we read in Hebrews 6: it is impossible for God to lie. God doesn’t just always tell the truth; it would defy God’s very nature for him to do anything but. It is as impossible for God to lie as it is for you and me to grow wings.
I love how the author of Hebrews goes to great lengths to show us just how committed God is to keeping his word. Using the grand promise God made to Abraham as an example, the author shows us how God made an oath and swore that oath by himself, guaranteeing that his promises could never be broken. Did God have to go to these lengths? Of course not. But he did so to show the “heirs of what was promised” the “unchanging nature of his purpose.” In other words, God really wants to make sure that we understand how trustworthy his promises to us are.
As the very heirs of what was promised to Abraham, we too can have the assurance that God cannot and will not lie to us. As the author of Hebrews shows us, this assurance is an anchor—tethering our souls to what is true, stable, and solid. Could we have a more precious gift in an otherwise shifting and uncertain world?
The song “You are the Word” by Sandra McCracken perfectly captures the unwavering promise we have in Jesus. The chorus is simple yet profound: “You gave me your word. You gave me your word. You are the word.”
How, then, can we be sure God will come through on what he says? He gave us his son, Jesus Christ, THE Word of God made flesh. God’s Word dwelt among us, was crucified for our sins, and was raised for our justification, all as the great confirmation of God’s inability to go back on his promises. When I doubt God’s ability to do what he says he will do, when I question his goodness, when I fret about if he will come through for me after all, Jesus Christ anchors my soul. When I look to him in and through his word, I am assured that I can flee to take hold of the hope set before me and be greatly encouraged.
As we navigate a world of intoxicating lies and unmet promises, let us cling to the unwavering truth of God both in his word and in his son Jesus Christ. God has given me his Word, and it is impossible for him to lie.
— Rebecca Lankford