It’s the fourth week of Advent. Our waiting is nearing an end because Christmas will come again as promised on December 25. The Feast of the Nativity is one of the immovable holidays. It always occurs on the 25th Day of December. Advent prepares our souls for the true celebration of indescribable hope, love, peace and joy! God became one of us. He was born through a virgin. He grew in wisdom and knowledge and in favor with God and man. He explained the mystery that the prophets, feasts and creation had been seeping out—that God would take on human nature, live, teach, die and rise again to secure the promise made to Abraham. A mystery revealed that continues to remain too complicated for human minds.
Hebrews 6:13-20 reviews the promise.
God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, I will surely bless you and give you many descendants. And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 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. 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. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
While the wait for Christmas will soon end, the wait on God’s promise will continue until the second time Jesus comes to earth. I love how the Hebrew writer states that Abraham received what was promised. How did Abraham receive it? When he died he only had one true heir through whom the promise would be fulfilled—Isaac. He lived in Canaan and was buried beside his wife from whom the promised heir was given—Sarah. He owned no land in Canaan save the little plot of land he insisted on purchasing himself, rather than receiving as a gift the burial plot where Sarah and now he himself was buried.
Still the Hebrew writer insists that Abraham received what was promised. How did he receive it? When Abraham died the promise was still an embryo, fully alive and growing but unrecognizable as the full promise of God. By the end of Genesis, Abraham’s seed was merely a large family residing in Egypt. How could Abraham have received what was promised?
We, like Abraham, receive what is promised by waiting patiently with faith. Abraham did not need to see with his own eyes the reality of his seed becoming a nation that would bless the world. He saw enough in his lifetime of walking in obedience to God. He received the promise when he saw that after inconceivable barrenness and old age that the wife God anointed had a child. He and Isaac alone witnessed the reward of obedience when Abraham trusted God so much he was willing to sacrifice his only true heir. In the same way, I can receive the promise. I believe by faith that God will do everything His Word tells me He will do. Like Abraham, I wait patiently because I know in my heart I have that for which I wait.