It won’t take long for even the most casual observer to notice that we use images of an anchor a lot around here. And some people have asked why. So, to be a bit more proactive on the matter, we thought we would go ahead and create this short article to briefly explain our seeming fascination with anchors.
Hebrews 6:10–20 (KJV) tells us, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 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: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
The Significance of the Anchor
The image of an anchor is one of, if not the earliest of Christian symbols used for self and inter-identification by first, second, and third century followers of Jesus Christ. For them, many of whom were being severely persecuted and even martyred, it signified safety in the hope provided by God’s promise to the faithful.
God made promises to Abraham in which we can share. And because of God’s oath to Abraham to keep these promises, we can rest our souls in the hope of receiving the rewards of those promises. A summary of the progression of this line of thought is as follows:
- Abraham was told by God to leave Ur and go to a country that God would show him.
- This country was the land of Israel. God promised that Abraham would possess it forever.
- God also promised that Abraham would have a son and that his descendants would become a great nation.
- God promised that Abraham’s special descendant would share the land with Abraham and be a blessing to all nations. The New Testament shows that this special descendant is the Lord Jesus Christ, who brings forgiveness of sins.
- If we belong to Christ, we are counted as children of Abraham, joint heirs, and may share the promises made to him.
- This assurance is the anchor our souls have.
A Symbol of Our Faith and Hope
While the anchor certainly isn’t anything that we should venerate, worship, or even honor in any way, it can be an outward symbol of the faith and hope we hold within our hearts. When viewed and used in this way, the anchor can not only be an inward positive symbol of God’s wonderful promise to us, but also an outward identifier of our faith to our fellow believers.