Todays readings… Joshua 18, Isaiah 24, Hebrews 6&7
“MADE PERFECT FOREVER”
Our Hebrews and Isaiah chapters both end on a note of climax – and wonder! Hebrews was written to inspire those Jews who now believed in Christ – to make it clear how the Law of Moses had been superseded.
The writer (Paul?) points out how dramatic and meaningful the involvement of Abraham with Melchizedec was. [Hebrews 5 v.6, quoting Psalm 110 v.4]
Our 7th chapter of Hebrews starts by telling us how Melchizedek blessed Abraham. This man is “by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.” [v.2] Verse 11 tells us that “perfection” was not “attainable through the Levitical priesthood” – but this Psalm is quoted to show that Jesus is “a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” [v.17] and “he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” [v.24,25]
How heart numbing this is as we try to meditate on its’ reality – for us. The chapter ends by telling us the “Son … has been made perfect forever.” This ‘perfection’ is beyond our comprehension and, looking back at ch. 5 v.9 & 10 we ponder with heart-felt awe how Jesus; “being made perfect … became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.”
Let us commit ourselves each day to “obey him.”
So Jesus “has been made perfect forever” – and one day – will we? Will Christ’s return bring a state of perfection? This perfection is beyond our comprehension as is some of the language in today’s 24th chapter of Isaiah which ‘pictures’ – in awesome language – the climax to God’s judgements on the earth.
Oh, the wonder stated in the last verse, when “the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.” We are reminded of what Daniel says he was told of this time, “the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever ….'” [7 v.18] Those elders/saints will be “made perfect forever.”
Back in Isaiah, what awesome, indeed frightening words, we are told about the time previous to when “the LORD of hosts reigns”! Is it all poetic language? It cannot be, how increasingly true it is today that “the earth lies defiled under its inhabitants … Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt …” [v.5,6]
And look at the 1st verse in today’s chapter! “Behold, the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.”
When we come to ch. 12 in Hebrews we will feel challenged as to the reality of v. 26 “…now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ ” Only those things that survive the shaking will be “made perfect forever”
The end of the chapter inspires us! “Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”