17 When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. 18 So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. 19 This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us….
The high priest was the only one allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and that was only once a year, on Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. The Holy of Holies held the Ark of the Covenant, and the priest made a sacrifice for everyone on that day so that sins could be forgiven, and the people could be right with God again (Hebrews 9:7). In Luke 23:44-46 we read that when Jesus died, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple tore in two. This signified that Jesus was the final sacrifice and we no longer needed a priest to intercede on our behalf to God.
When I think about the plan and the promise God made, I tend to get overwhelmed with trying to rationalize it. Many of the things God has done can be explained scientifically. I believe in science, but there are things that just can’t be explained, and we just have to understand that we don’t understand. That is tough sometimes, but isn’t that the basis of faith?
I wonder about the timing of God’s plan and what it means. Why am I alive at this particular time? Why did God have Jesus come at that particular time in history? So many questions, but the bottom line is that God promised a Savior, Jesus was that sacrifice, and we can trust that God is with us no matter what we are going through. Sometimes God feels very distant, sometimes very close. When we are in those stages of life when we question and are maybe having trouble with our faith, I think it is good to remember what it says in verse 18: God doesn’t lie. Sometimes we feel like God is not listening, but God has given us a promise that we will always have the Lord with us. Joshua 1:5 says, “No one will be able to stand up against you during your lifetime. I will be with you in the same way I was with Moses. I won’t desert you or leave you.” Another promise God made was to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us as well.
The God in three persons is there with us – sometimes waiting for us to make the first move, sometimes waiting for us to ask the hard questions (mostly of ourselves), and sometimes to show us something that we need to see to assure us of the promises of God. Sometimes all we need to see is a rainbow, or a cardinal in our yard, or a penny from Heaven to bring us back to where we need to be. These are things that can be signs to people. The presence of these things can all be explained easily but sometimes it is the faith behind the obvious – things that we can’t explain that really make us stop and think – and know that God is there and has made promises to us that we can’t begin to fathom. We have to trust. Sometimes when we are hurting, it is hard to take that step, but usually when we take that step and analyze what has happened, we can see God in the process.
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
What types of things give us reassurance that God is with us and has kept the promises of old?
Prayer: God of promises and reassurances, help us to remember that you have promised never to leave us if we only look to you. Amen.