Today’s readings.. (Joshua 16), (Isaiah 22), (Hebrews 1), (Hebrews 2)

    Today we started to read the letter to the Hebrews.  It does not tell us who wrote it.  We are not sure it was Paul; at the very end (13 v.23) it comments that “our brother Timothy has been released” – was Paul still alive then?  

     One early tradition is that Barnabas wrote it, but it is not important to know for sure who wrote it.  It contains valuable testimony to the value of God’s words in the Old Testament, and includes many quotations from the Psalms and how they foretold what God would accomplish. 

The opening two verses set this out very plainly, “… God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things.”  In Old Testament times God sent messages through prophets such as Isaiah which we are presently reading; but prior to that he used angels, as with Abraham and Jacob.  The role of the prophets and “men of God” (eg. Samuel) came into prominence when the nation of Israel began functioning. 

In verses 10 & 11 we have reference to the earth and the heavens, but not in a literal sense!  The sense here is of people (earth) and their rulers (heavens) and a contrast is drawn between them and the permanence of God’s son through whom he has now spoken and his vital role in God’s purpose.  We read that the original “earth” and “heavens” that “they will perish, but you (his Son v.8) remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed.  But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”   Turn up Psalm 102 and you will see these words are taken from v.25-27 and that v.28 says, “the children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.”

Children and offspring?  God has been seeking to rear those ever since New Testament days, those who feed on God’s word!  Our world has become like a worn out garment, ready to be rolled up and discarded by God!  Finally we noted how Hebrews Ch. 2 starts, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Coming to v. 3 we see it is a straightforward personal question for us. “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”  We all should know the answer to that question!