A seahorse uses its tail to anchor itself to coral and seagrass. They have no stomachs, so food passes through their little bodies, requiring them to eat almost constantly. It sometimes stays in the same place for days, using its secure position to snatch much-needed food to sustain itself. They have the same kind of tails that monkeys do, called prehensile, which means “used for grasping.”[1]

With that in mind, we know how anchors are used for keeping ships in place. When Paul sailed to Rome, fearing they might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors when they got to Malta and prayed for the day to come (Acts 27:29, ESV). Anchors were usually made of heavy stone, iron, or lead during biblical times.[2] It makes sense that anchors are secure, potentially unmoveable objects.

The author of Hebrews uses an anchor to describe the certainty of God’s promise of salvation through Jesus. They use the image of an anchor, already affirming its secure nature, and use the word steadfast to describe the anchor. The ESV Study Bible denotes that God’s promises were guaranteed because of His trustworthy character (Heb. 6:16-18, ESV).

Steadfast comes from the word bebaios, which means “that which does not fail or waver, immoveable, and on which one may rely; to establish.[3] Its synonyms are safe, trustworthy, sure, faithful, and true. When I searched for the word steadfast in my Bible app, I found Ephesians 3:17-19, which does not include the word but affirms our secure salvation in Christ. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Did you catch the words, rooted and grounded? Doesn’t that sound like the characteristics of an anchor? So, is the author of Hebrews not only confirming with the firmness of an anchor but also the safe and secure, actual trustworthiness of a steadfast anchor– where our hope lies, in Christ? Hebrews gives double measure in confirming God’s promises to us.

God gives us sweet promises that we can hold on to, as a seahorse holds on to coral, to be fed all day long with life-sustaining nutrients; we, too, can receive spiritual food in God’s Word to sustain us while we anchor ourselves to Christ. A great way to do that is to take the Psalmist’s advice, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10, ESV). This relates to Moses telling the people, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Ex. 14:14, ESV). We constantly need life-sustaining manna from heaven, a secure hope that anchors us in place while we wait. God’s promises find their Yes and Amen in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20, ESV), giving us a double measure of trust in the One who does not waiver and never fails.

[1] Beverly Hernandez. “Learning About Seahorses.” ThoughtCo. (accessed October 5, 2022).

[2] Chad Brand. ed., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2015).

[3] Spiros Zodhiates., and Warren Baker. Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible : Key Insights into God’s Word : King James Version, Authorized Version. Second Revised Edition. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2008. Print.

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