The Danger of Drifting
Loving Lord, You have taught me of my need for You. I thank You for Your constant presence with me.
Read Hebrews 2:1-9
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Drifting away from the Lord and the church used to be called backsliding. It is the inevitable result of “slack abiding”! We need to be vigilant!
Most of us who read these notes are not facing the kind of persecution that threatened the original readers. The “drifting” described in v. 1, however, is a very real danger for many Christians. Here is the first of a series of warnings in this letter. Today’s reading gives us a good opportunity to clear our minds, tune out the distractions, and ask some basic questions. N.T. Wright asks: “What evidence is there in your own life, and in your church, that the gospel message of Jesus is true and powerful? If you find that question difficult to answer, could it be because you or your church has begun to drift?”
In Psalm 8, the psalmist wonders, “What are human beings that God cares for them?” In today’s reading the writer takes “man” (the Greek is singular) to be referring to Jesus. Here we have a beautiful example of divine ambiguity in the Scriptures. The Greek can be understood either way, and the writer slides from one sense to the other in these verses. Different translations handle this in different ways. J. Kögel comments: “The Son and the sons belong together…Humanity and Messiah stand in close, indissoluble unity with one another.” Everything is not at present subject to him. We are living by faith in that already-and-not-yet time, when God’s purpose for the world is only partly fulfilled. But Jesus is risen, has conquered death, and is crowned with glory. He identified and identifies with us, and there is our hope.
Glory, in the Scriptures, is often seen in the context of suffering. This is so foreign to the way we naturally think, but so pertinent to the argument of Hebrews. Suffering in any form, momentous or trivial, unites us with Jesus who suffered. Let’s make sure that our faith is firmly anchored so that we don’t drift.
Think about the quotation from N.T. Wright. What things should you be doing to anchor your soul?
I ask, Father, that the hard times I experience may be good times for me. Use them to form me more like You.
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