Thursday, September 22, 2016

No Mere Angel

Please forgive my two-day hiatus.  I had "Hebrews shock", lol!  Seriously, I knew that this book was going to be quite a challenge, but it has taken me a couple of days to process.  The last blog post took me four hours at least, to write.  And, I simply cannot allow a morning devotion (and blog) consume that much of each day.  So, after reflecting, I realized that I need to pare down the amount of Hebrews for each morning and, accordingly, each post.  That being we go!

Our text for today is Hebrews 1:5-6 (ESV).

5For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son,

today I have begotten you”?
6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

The central focus of this verse is its laser-beam focus on the Father-Son Godhead relationship.  This was established in the Old Testament in Psalm 2:7, in 2 Samuel 7:14 and later in Mark 1:11. Although these verses can also find fulfillment in the physical, human lineage of David, this is merely a type (or representation) of the relationship between the first and second Persons of the Trinity.  In one sense, the writer of Hebrews is making the point that Jesus was no mere angel.  But, beyond that, he was teaching the readers deep truths about the Godhead, the Three-in-One.

There are a couple of things that, on the surface, make this verse confusing.  At various places throughout scripture, the angel band was referred to as "sons of God".  (See Genesis 6, for example, which describes the angels who rebelled.)

But, these verses underscore that huge difference between being called "a son" and "the only begotten Son", the latter which the angels worship as God (because Jesus IS God).  See Deuteronomy 32:43.

Even more troublesome that that is the statement, "This day have I begotten Thee" (King James Version).  Was Jesus not God until that "day" when He presented Himself before the Father's throne? (See Revelation 5) --- if you have time, go read it right now!)  Was Jesus "created"?  This verse would seem to convey both of these heresies....

Again we find our human selves so very influenced by and blinded by the concept of Time.  It is a construct that God has provided to us so that we might make order and sense of our physical world. In the spiritual world, however, there is a disconnect.  The spiritual world transcends Time and basically makes it largely irrelevant outside our physical existence.  God is not bound by Time, nor is He overly concerned with it.

For example, I was born over 50 years ago.  But, don't you know that God knew me before I was conceived in my mother's womb?  The Gena that is my spirit, my true self, He knew prior to my conception.  He chose me to be born to Betty and Gene all those years ago.  He designed this body which houses me.  I was Betty and Gene's appointed daughter long before my birth onto this Earth.  I will be their daughter after my mother's death, as I am my deceased father's daughter even now. However, when my father passed on to be with the Lord, I inherited material blessings from him. When my mother passes on, I will inherit materially from her.  Does this make me any more their daughter? Only in the sense that I did receive and will receive the prerogatives and full material benefits of "daughter-ship".

Similarly, although the comparison is somewhat ridiculous, Jesus was God's Son "from before the beginning until past the end" - - "Alpha and Omega", Jesus said of Himself.  However, as Bruce puts it, ...
"...he who was the Son of God from everlasting entered into the FULL exercise of all the prerogatives implied by his Sonship when, after his suffering had proved the completeness of his obedience, he was raised to the Father's right hand." (emphases mine..)

Yet, in John 3:16, we read, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only-begotten Son...." God's decision to "give" was made before man was ever created!  And, the Son was "only-begotten" even then!
Yes, the Son was "begotten" from "the time that was no time" and He will remain the beloved, only-begotten forever.
"From everlasting to everlasting, You are God!"  (See full text of Psalm 90:2).  Oh well, here it is! (ESV)

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Hallelujah!  What a Savior!  Let's savor and celebrate these magnificent truths today!

Father, thank you for Your holy Scriptures, which You divinely put together to teach us the truth about Yourself, Your Son and Your Holy Spirit.  Those of us who worship You in spirit and in truth praise You today for who You are, in all your majesty and power and glory!  To Him, whose Name is above every name, is due all our humble adoration and praise.  Amen.


Bruce, F. F. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990. Kindle edition. 

Cockerill, Gareth Lee. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012. Kindle edition. 

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