Monday in the Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 2:1-4

How Shall We Escape

The scholars say that this sermon to the Hebrews was so sent because they were tempted to return to Judaism in response to the persecution they were either experiencing or with which they were being threatened.  For this reason, the sermon begins by reminding the people of the Son whom they worship and of his greatness over all other beings.  The Son is he who has revealed the Father to us and the one through the Father created the world. 

Now the Preacher turns to that most famous event in Israel’s history in which God descended on Mount Sinai and gave the law to Moses, angels in attendance (Deuteronomy 33:2; Acts 7:53).  The people trembled with fear before the sight of lightning and thunder (Exodus 19:1-25; 20:18-21) and said to Moses before the Lord, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8; 24:3, 7).  But they didn’t do.  Within just forty days, they were worshiping and dancing around a golden calf and three-thousand men died as a result.  Thousands more were judged of the Lord and died in several other episodes of rebellion in the wilderness proving what the Preacher says here that “every transgression of disobedience received a just reward.”  But then he hastens to his purpose in relating all of this to the Hebrews asking, “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”  And the answer is, “We won’t.”

Throughout the sermon, the Preacher reaches into the Old Testament to show how the New Covenant in Jesus Christ is superior to the Old.  In this place, he reaches into the Old Testament for the account of what happened at Mount Sinai to warn the Hebrews that drifting away, forsaking the Lord, and breaking their word of, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do,” will result in even greater judgment.  Therefore, they must pay close attention to the word they had heard which was spoken by their Lord’s own lips and confirmed by signs and wonders through gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We are far too easy on ourselves.  We think God no longer judges sin, or at least the sins of believers.  We take a passage like this and short-circuit (if not nullify) its warning to us with paeans to “eternal security.”  In doing so, we do ourselves a disservice, a disservice which could prove our undoing.  How shall we escape if we “neglect to meet together” or “go on sinning deliberately” or hide some secret sin in our lives?  Do we live as if grace were an excuse for sin?  If so, how shall we stand in the day of temptation and persecution?  How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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