When someone swears an oath, like the way we are asked to when giving testimony in a court of law, what are we trying to emphasize by that oath?
We are often disappointed and disillusioned by promised that are never kept. From advertisers to politicians, we are alarmingly accustomed to claims and promises that are never fulfilled. That’s less a cultural problem than it is a human one.
What can that do to a person’s sense of hope or anticipation? I truly believe that the fallen-ness of our world is what makes our faith so fragile, why a trust in God’s promises is such a struggle.
This Sunday we’ll be reading Hebrews 6:13-20 where the writer will address this issue and encourage us to keep on believing.
He uses two main platforms on which he calls us to build our trust: God’s character and his oath, or word.
What aspect of God’s character does the writer highlight? How can the story of God’s promise to Abraham (Gen 12, 22) help to reinforce that aspect of his character? What would be meaningful about the promise to Abraham for these Jewish readers so many years after the fact?
Considering why we ask for an oath from someone, and considering God’s nature, do you think it was necessary for God to swear an oath to Abraham? Why do you think he did it? What does that tell us about God’s attitude towards us, and his desire for us to believe?
This will be an interesting, albeit complex, study. I hope it encourages us all in our faith! See you Sunday!