God blesses the earth. So rain often falls on it, and it produces useful crops for farmers.
However, if the earth produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Dear friends, even though we say these things, we are still convinced that better things are in store for you and that they will save you.
God is fair. He won't forget what you've done or the love you've shown for him. You helped his holy people, and you continue to help them.
We want each of you to prove that you're working hard so that you will remain confident until the end.
Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are receiving the promises through faith and patience.
God made a promise to Abraham. Since he had no one greater on whom to base his oath, he based it on himself.
He said, "I will certainly bless you and give you many descendants."
So Abraham received what God promised because he waited patiently for it.
When people take oaths, they base their oaths on someone greater than themselves. Their oaths guarantee what they say and end all arguments.
God wouldn't change his plan. He wanted to make this perfectly clear to those who would receive his promise, so he took an oath.