16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18 That by two immutable 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:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
When I was young, my grandfather lived ion a dairy farm in Freeport, Maine. You may have heard of Freeport. This is the home of L. L. Bean, one of the world’s largest outfitter companies. Back in the later 50’ss and early 60’s it was the local hardware store, and we used to visit it quite often when visiting grandpa on the farm. I would love to get back there and visit that store again, which is now an anchor to a large shopping mecca in Maine.
The other thing about visiting grandpa was that Freeport is located on Casco Bay, which boasts some of the best lobster in the world. My grandfather had a lobster boat back in those days, and we would have the opportunity to go out on that boat with him every so often. I’m not sure how much lobster fishing has changed over the years, but it sure was fun for a ten-year-old back then. Lobster trapes were large wooden cages with a funnel like net that went into the cage. The bait would be put inside and the lobster would go in easily through the net, but when he tried to come out, his claws would not allow him to do so. All of my grandfathers’ traps were marked by his colored buoys, and we would go out and check the traps, replace the bait, and take out any lobster’s that were in the traps. A hoard of seagulls swarmed the boat like the ones looking at Nemo’s dad on the pier. “Mine, mine, mine” they shouted as the old bait was thrown into the sea. We always got to eat one or two of the fresh lobster and the rest were sold to the local market. Lobster is still my favorite food today.
Buoys are interesting things. They sit on top of the water to mark the place where something is below, or to mark out a course for a race, or a dangerous place where the shoals are very shallow. A long rope with a weight on the other end keeps them in place and acts as an anchor. We usually think of an anchor as a big double-sided hook which keeps a boat in place, and that is typically the case. When talking about a buoy, though, it is more like an anchor on the surface of the water which marks a certain place.
Chapter 6 of Hebrews ends with a sudden shift in direction to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The next few chapters will concentrate on making the case for Christ’s priesthood over the Hebrew children. But he starts out this section by pointing to two immutable things that God swore to Abraham by – His name and His word. Immutable means unchanging over time and unable to change. It speaks of the permanence of something and the truth of that something. He says because of these two immutable things, we have hope. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire that something will happen. Our hope is that God will not change. That His word will remain forever is a promise we can count on and hope for in our own lives. Why? Because His word is filled with so many amazing promises. I am certainly not going to take the time here to write out all those promises. One estimate I just looked up said there are over 7,847 promises made to mane from God. He is immutable, these promises do not change over time. They remain the same for us today as they were for Adam and Eve in the beginning. The same for us as Abraham, as Job, as David, as Daniel as Paul and so many others. Promises of healing, deliverance, salvation, direction, wisdom, long life, health and so many other things. We have hope that all this is true.
That hope is an anchor to our soul. It keeps us in place, just like the anchor keeps the boat in place. Our lives do not drift around aimlessly, not knowing where we will end up. David could have said, in Psalm 1, that we are like a ship anchored in the calm sea instead of a tree planted by the water. When we are anchored in this hope, we have nothing to fear, and we don’t have to worry about tomorrow. We know that God has us, no matter what may come our way. He sea may rage, and the storm my come, but the anchor of His word and His name will keep us through it all. But I want my anchor to be more like that buoy, because I want everyone to be able to see what I am anchored to. I desire that my life will be a signaling device so that others can see God in me. Remember, I said the buoy marks a spot or shows a direction. I pray that God is so strong in you that you show others the way to Christ. Like the light of the world Jesus talks about, you lead others to Christ, not through the spoken word, but through the actions of your life. A buoy never goes under, no matter how bad the storm. It is always above the water, above the waves and above the treasure below. The hidden things of God within us are shown by the buoy, the anchor of our hope. May this hope be so evident in your life that others see God in you!