Hebrews 1 (3)
The writer of Hebrews will focus on Christ and His superiority to elements of religion that Jews in the first century looked to for security and a sense of wellbeing. The first readers of this epistle had come under persecution, and they were beginning to drift from trusting Christ alone. The writer insisted that nothing they could turn to apart from Jesus would provide them the hope, salvation, direction, and power they needed. The angels certainly understood this, and the first readers of Hebrews should follow their lead in holding fast to their confession of faith in Jesus Christ. In a time such as ours, when many distractions want to pull us away from complete trust in Jesus, we do well to heed this message.
Read Psalm 104.1-4.
Read Hebrews 1.7-9.
Think it through.
1. The writer introduces a topic which he will conclude at the end of this chapter (v. 14), namely, that the angels, powerful and terrifying as they are, perform the will of the Word of God on our behalf. We see this in the New Testament. How many different ways can you think of that angels do the Lord’s bidding and serve His people in the New Testament? Angels do their work both seen and unseen, although they are not always recognized (Heb. 13.2). Should we alwaysexpect to see them as they serve us? Does this make their service any less valuable? Should we in some way acknowledge the work of angels on our behalf? But they are also “a flame of fire”. Fire is used to represent at least two Biblical ideas – refinement and illumination. What does this suggest about the way angels serve us?
2. The writer gives us a lesson in how to read the Old Testament. Here (vv. 8, 9) is the first of several Old Testament texts which the writer will use to show the excellence of Jesus Christ (cf. Jn. 5.39). Look at Psalm 45.6, 7. Now read Psalm 45.1-5, 8, 9 and Revelation 6.1, 2. How does the writer want us to think about Jesus? The ruler’s scepter is a symbol of his authority and realm. Jesus has a scepter of uprightness(not “righteousness” as in NKJV). Look at Ecclesiastes 7.29. What does this scepter suggest about the purpose of Christ’s rule? What are the implications of His rule for you? Meditate on Romans 7.12 and Matthew 24.12. How does Jesus administer His Kingdom? We note also that Jesus’ Kingdom is a Kingdom of gladness. Should we expect to know this gladness as we seek the Kingdom of Jesus? Explain.
“‘Your throne, O God, is forever.’ Through this he teaches us that the phrase ‘he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high’ was meant in human fashion. As God he has a throne that is eternal and a kingdom that is without beginning or end, but here human things are associated with it.” Theodoret of Cyr (393-466 AD)
Gird Your sword upon Yourthigh, O Mighty One,
With Your glory and Your majesty.
And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, andrighteousness;
And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things. Psalm 45.3, 4
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6.2
You are riding forth today, O Lord, and we are they who bear You into the world, into our own Personal Mission Fields. God forth in and with me today, Lord, for…
Pray Psalm 45.1-7
As you pray, think about how Jesus wants to ride forth in you today, conquering and to conquer, and offer yourself for His glory and Kingdom.
Psalm 45.1-7 (Manoah: When All Your Mercies, O My God)
O my heart, let now a pleasing theme overflow to praise the Lord;
My song I pledge to You, my King, and dedicate my words.
You of all men are the fairest, Lord, and Your lips are flush with grace;
Thus God has blessed You evermore before His holy face.
Your sword gird on Your thigh, O Lord, in splendid majesty;
Ride out, resplendent in Your Word, to glorious victory.
For meekness and for righteousness Your Right Hand shall prevail.
Your foes shall come to deep distress when You their souls assail.
Your throne, O God, is evermore, and upright is Your reign;
Though wicked men Your soul abhor, Your righteousness must gain.
T. M Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.