Something to Hold Fast

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23). We are plodding through Hebrews in the women’s Bible study at my church (yes, still!). I started in February, and we are now inching our way through the “hall of faith” in chapter eleven. Arthur W. Pink’s An Exposition of Hebrews has been a great resource for me as I study and prepare the lessons. One point Pink highlighted when we were in chapter 10 was that the rest of the epistle (or sermon) expounds on this exhortation given in verse 23. I have found that to be so true as we’ve continued on. What a strong incitement this is! Every lesson since then, I find myself taking us back to Hebrews 10:23. Especially this morning, as I was planning for next week. We are now on 11:17-19:
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
Pink asks the question, “How could Abraham reconcile the Divine Command with the Divine Promise?” (739). The promise made to Abraham centered on his son, Isaac. If Abraham offered up his only son, isn’t he sabotaging God’s promise? But it is God, the promisor, who gave the command to do so! Of course, there is much that can be said in answer to this question. We can talk about Abraham’s affections, and God’s character and sovereignty. But, as I was thinking about the context of this verse it really hit me what an amazing illustration this was of 10:23 again. Although we see Abraham’s faith being tested here, I think that this incident really points to God’s faithfulness. This is Abraham holding fast to the confession of his hope—that God will bless him as a father of many nations, the father of the promised Seed! If God is the one giving him this promise, than God will fulfill it, God’s way. And although Abraham knew that God would somehow preserve his son Isaac (Gen. 22:5), could he have imagined in his wildest dreams that his promised Seed, God’s Son the Messiah, would be offered up on that very mountain? This is how Isaac was truly saved! Amazing! The paradox is reconciled on the cross. There was no wavering. God called Abraham, and Abraham responded to the summons with, “Here am I” (Gen 22:1). Nothing that God asks of us is greater than the sacrifice of his Son that secures our own redemption. He has lavished us with his grace, making us co-heirs with Christ! It was for Abraham’s own sake that God put him through this trial, so that he would better know the worth of God’s grace. It’s one thing to make a confession of faith; it’s another to hold fast to it. So when you feel like you’ve got nothing to hold onto, when the suffering seems unbearable, when you cannot rationalize what God is doing in your life, ask yourself this question: Do you believe his promises or not? They don’t depend on your faithfulness, but his. Unlike Abraham, who looked forward to the coming Messiah, we have further revelation of the gospel by looking back to the actual history of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have this whole revelation faithfully recorded in Scripture. Just hold on! There is nothing more trustworthy than the Word of God! He who promised is faithful.