Hebrews 6:13-20

Friday, May 15, 2020

Anchors Aweigh or Anchors Away?

Hope For All Times

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:18-19

To weigh anchor or to drop anchor is perhaps the biggest tension believers experience in their voyage of faith. There is a large cache of scripture that challenges us to weigh anchor, to bring the anchors on board for departure. “Anchors aweigh” is an old Dutch sailor’s report that the anchors are clear of the sea bottom and, therefore, the ship is officially under way. It is imperative that we not remain stagnant in our faith but that we set sail on the orders of our King. “Anchors away” has no meaning and is often confused with “Anchors aweigh.” It is more closely aligned with the nautical order to “drop anchor,” which is the opposite of “anchors aweigh” and according to the writer of Hebrews, also an important spiritual process.

Though we must weigh anchor and set sail as is our duty, it is essential that we drop anchor in the hope of the One with whom we have taken refuge, which is likely an allusion to mariners who make all haste to their port and haven. In that port we are “greatly encouraged,” which means to have all our doubts, fears, sorrows, and distractions vanquished. Here, the writer alludes to an anchor dropped in the midst of a storm, which when cast, both preserves the vessel from losing the ground she has gained, and keeps her steady amid the winds and waves when the art and skill of mariners are overcome. Thus our hope becomes an anchor for our souls both “firm,” meaning it will not fail or may with confidence be trusted to the burden of the ship and “secure,” meaning against all opposition in which no violence of winds or storms can either break or move from its hold.