And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.
Before this verse can make any sense, I need to know who waited and for what promise. The answers are “Abraham waited” and “The promise to bless him and multiply him.” This gives me quite a bit of scope to this statement.
For example, I might be tempted to ask “How patiently did he have to wait?” To answer that, I need to know when God made the promise to bless and to multiply Abraham. I did a little search and the first place I found both of those promises made to Abraham together is right after Moriah; right after the test, while Isaac was still bound on the altar (Genesis 22). Abraham already had the promised child, but this was something else. This was a call back to the promise that Abraham’s descendants would be like the stars.
That promise – the promise to make Abraham’s descendants like the stars – is still being fulfilled. Yet the writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham obtained the promise. What gives?
There are two ways in which I can obtain a promise. The first – the one we all prefer, I think – is the one wherein the promise is fulfilled. The second is the one wherein the promise is given. Abraham got both in his time and those who place their trust in Christ today are a continuing fulfillment of the promise that was made, but not yet fulfilled.
God’s Word – The Bible – is full to bursting with promises from God to me. Promises not to leave me or forsake me and to bless me (which is a broad thought and open to much interpretation by God) and to give me His Spirit Who will guide me into all Truth and the list goes on. Let me wait patiently so that I might obtain the promise – whichever promise that might be.
Father, I am not patient and I do not wait well. I admit these things and ask that You change them in me. I want to, like Abraham, obtain the promise and that means waiting patiently. Make me able to wait patiently that I might obtain Your promises – both those found in Your Word and those You want to make to me personally.