There is the saying “As good as his word”.
God is God. All God has to do to guarantee His promise to us to give us His word. When He says it, we can count on it. No ifs, ands or buts. It is done.
I can take it to the bank. He won’t break His promise to me. He is faithful so I can be faithful.
Because God wanted to show his unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. | Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Heb 6:17–18). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
It is impossible for God to lie. When God speaks, he means it and will stand behind what He says. It will accomplish the very will of God. Like Paul, we need to be fully convinced that what God has promised, He will do. God is both willing and able.
- Isaiah 55:11 (CSB) — 11 so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
- Romans 4:21 (CSB) — 21 because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do.
God not only gave Abraham a promise, but He also confirmed that promise with an oath. When a witness takes an oath in court, he is confronted with the words “so help me God.” We call on the greater to witness for the lesser. None is greater than God, so He swore by Himself!
But God did not do this only for Abraham. He has also given His promise and oath to “the heirs of promise”. Abraham and his descendants are the first of these heirs, but all believers are included as “Abraham’s [spiritual] seed” (Gal. 3:29).
So our assurance of salvation is guaranteed by God’s promise and God’s oath, “two immutable [unchangeable] things” (Heb. 6:18). We have “strong consolation” (or “great encouragement”) concerning the hope set before us! Hebrews is a book of encouragement, not discouragement!
The phrase “fled for refuge” (Heb. 6:18) suggests the Old Testament “cities of refuge” described in Numbers 35:9ff and Joshua 20. God appointed six cities, three on each side of the Jordan, into which a man could flee if he had accidentally killed someone.
The elders of the city would investigate the case. If they determined that it was indeed manslaughter and not murder, they would permit the man to live in the city until the death of the high priest. Then he could return to his home. The members of the slain man’s family could not avenge themselves so long as the man remained in the city.
We have fled to Jesus the Messiah. He is our eternal refuge. As our High Priest, He will never die; and we have eternal salvation. No avenger can touch us, because He has already died and arisen from the dead.
And here are some more from the very word of God about God’s promises.
- Joshua 21:45 (CSB) — 45 None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.
- Joshua 23:14–15 (CSB) — 14 “I am now going the way of the whole earth, and you know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the Lord your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed. 15 Since every good thing the Lord your God promised you has come about, so he will bring on you every bad thing until he has annihilated you from this good land the Lord your God has given you.
- 1 Kings 8:56 (CSB) — 56 “Blessed be the Lord! He has given rest to his people Israel according to all he has said. Not one of all the good promises he made through his servant Moses has failed.
- Psalm 145:13 (CSB) — 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your rule is for all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and gracious in all his actions.
- Hebrews 10:23 (CSB) — 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.