Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 January 2023 Hebrews 6:19a.

Hebrews 6:19a.       Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,

And the days of this new year are moving swiftly by. Can you believe we’re already moving into the last full work week of January? Yuh better believe it! January will soon be over and we’ll be looking to Valentine’s Day, another big money spinner. But we’ll take it all in stride once we stay strong and steadfast in Christ and fellowship on the Sabbath, which is today. That means thanks, praise, worship and togetherness in the Lord’s sanctuary. Wow! That’s what the Lord’s Day is all about! 

And today we’ll open with an old but beautiful and favourite hymn, recorded by numerous artistes down through the years, aptly titled ‘Whispering Hope,’ written in 1868 by American musician and poet Septimus Winner (1827-1902). The text of the song refers to the anchor that keeps the soul unwavering – the ‘Whispering Hope’ for all Christians.’ So let’s lift our voice in sacrificial praise to heaven in a mid-tempo soulful, harmonious, heartfelt version of the song, letting them know that our souls are unwaveringly anchored in the biggest and best anchor, Jesus Christ. 

Singing: ‘Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone. (Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) If, in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain] 

Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, oh, come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) 

Now wasn’t that just beautiful friends! And I do hope that those encouraging words lifted our spirits, giving us confidence to face the upcoming work week, for that’s one of the purposes of our Sunday fellowship. Now it’s widely acknowledged that the basis for this song comes from Chapter 6 of Hebrews, where the author talks about God’s covenant with Abraham which involves salvation among other things, (Gal. 3:15-24) which he received after he patiently endured. (Heb. 6:13-16) 

However God had more security on His mind, as the author writes. ‘Wherein God, willing (determining) more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable (unchangeable) things in which it was impossible to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb. 6:17-20) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘God’s covenant with Abraham, which involves salvation (Gal. 3:15-25), is secure, being based upon two immutable things, that is. elements that cannot change. First, God’s promise is based on His own unchanging Word, He cannot lie, nor will He allow His Word to fail (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17). Further, His word was confirmed by an oath. And since He can swear by none greater, He swears by Himself. He rests His Word on His holy character.’ 

Meanwhile, they further explain that in the last three verses ‘the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32).Second, our hope is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of the heaven. 

As our forerunner, Jesus is different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’ Oh, I know that might sound somewhat confusing, but just take your time and read it. Now here is some other info on the song, in particular ‘As an anchor so steadfast.’ Now please don’t ask me where I got it from, because there’s no note to it. (smile) But it might just help us understand the anchor scene better. 

So please read with me: ‘It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. 

For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference, — the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. 

As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and steadfast, or safe and firm. It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.’ 

Now that ought to clear up a few things. (smile) So let’s go home filled with heavenly hope that’s solidly, safely and securely anchored as it ought to in Christ our Lord and Saviour, our High Priest and forerunner or precursor in the heavens. Much LOVE!

…hope is what leads to faith…without hope, you can’t have faith… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.     But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Aye Friends, welcome to a terrific Tuesday! And some of you grouchily ask, what’s so terrific about it eh? We still have the same trials and tribulations to endure? But Friends, that’s a shortsighted approach to the situation from a negative position.

Think about it this way nuh. The breath of life is still coursing purposely through our finite bodies. That means the Lord still has use for us down here on earth.

And then think about all the new blessings, mercies, forgiveness, compassion and grace that He’s earmarked specially for today, to bountifully shower down on us, so that we can do His bidding successfully. Now if that doesn’t make it a terrific Tuesday, then I don’t know what does! (smile)

Oh my people, we all know that life was never meant to be a bed of roses, there will be struggles and serious difficulties, but remember when we walk sincerely with Jesus Christ, we will be empowered to face all the negativity with a smile and steadfast faith, and also come through it with glowing report cards, much more Christ-like than when it all began. Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren!

Oh Friends, the Lord has done His part, providing all that wonderful stuff for us. The problem though is that we now need to do our part, which is to gratefully and joyously receive His magnanimous offerings. We can be given lots of stuff, but until we accept and receive them, it’s all a wasted effort.

So today, please let’s look on the bright side of life and accept and receive with thanksgiving all that the Lord has offered us. That will certainly make it a terrific Tuesday!

And it also brings us to our Bit. ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Oh Friends, what an encouraging scripture verse! From our very first breath, our Creator placed a little thing, sorry, a mighty emotion called HOPE in our souls. Yes my brethren, from the very beginning, God made sure that we had something strong and versatile to carry us through the rough times that we would most certainly endure in this earthly life.

So much so, that as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, we’ve become ‘prisoners of HOPE’! And that’s a rather apt description of Christians, for if we don’t hold on tightly to HOPE in Jesus, then crapaud smoke we pipe!

The term itself comes from Zechariah, when he talks about Zion’s future king: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of HOPE: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12)

Yes my fellow believers, each and every day we need to turn to the stronghold of the Most High God, Jehovah, to replenish the HOPE in our souls! For without that HOPE, we don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell, against Lucifer and his evil minions.

Now Friends, here is some scripture that corroborates all that we’ve been saying. I never planned to include it all, but realized that just pulling a couple verses out of context would not be really helpful. So here goes.

The author of Hebrews is here talking about an anchor of the soul. ‘For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could sware by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily sware by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife (dispute). Wherein God, willing more abundantly (determining) to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

That by two immutable (unchangeable) things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the HOPE set before us: which HOPE we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil (the Presence behind the veil).

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb.6:13-20)

Oh my people, I know that’s a somewhat convoluted and thus difficult section of scripture to understand, so here is some info from the scholars to help us do so. ‘6:13-18. God’s covenant with Abraham, which involves salvation (Gal.3:15-25), is secure, being based on two immutable things, that is, elements that cannot change.

First, God’s promise is based on His own unchanging Word. He cannot lie, nor will He allow His Word to fail (Matt.5:18; John 10:35; 17:17). Further, His Word was confirmed by an oath. And since He can swear by none greater, He swears by Himself. He rests His Word on His holy character.’

And the scholars continue to explain: ‘6:19-20. Starting at the end of verse 18, the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection. (Num.35:6-32).

Second, our HOPE is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of heaven.

As our forerunner, Jesus is far different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’

Oh Friends, I know that’s a lot to digest, but I do hope that we take it seriously, and that it brings us all to a greater understanding of God’s Word, for that’s our avowed purpose. Please stay strong and steadfast in Christ; continue to be a prisoner of HOPE. Much LOVE!

…HOPE…it is the heavenly anchor of our souls…and that’s the Lord’s intentional doing…