I can remember how perplexed I was as a child when dear friends would leave the church or stray away from their faith. My life and family was a safe place to grow and thrive, and so I couldn’t imagine how life could test one’s faith. My childlike faith had not endured hardship or suffering, and so it was easy for me to “hold fast” when nothing in my life had pushed me to cling to Jesus with all I had. As an adult, I am all too keenly aware of how life can distract, tempt, crush, destroy, and test a person’s faith.
From the beginning of Genesis we see that humanity, as a whole, is prone to wandering. We’re prone to making idols and we’re prone to disobedience. Because we live in a broken world, we are wounded and hurt and we experience both unspeakable suffering and great joy. Life is complex, and the writer of Hebrews knew our faith would be tested; he knew we would be tempted to drift away by a number of things this world has to offer.
In comfortable seasons, it’s easy to rely on ourselves and our resources instead of holding fast to our faith in a good and holy God. During difficult seasons, it’s easy to look around and wonder where God is amidst the ruins. The book of Hebrews is a letter that proclaims over and over again that Jesus is better and He is in control, no matter our season.
Throughout Hebrews chapter 1 we are told Jesus is better than angels and He sustains all things by the power of His Word. In the first few verses of Hebrews we’re told He alone is the one who has cleansed us from our sin (Hebrews 1:3)! In light of this, Hebrews 2:1-4 encourages us to “pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” If you ask questions when you read Scripture (which is a great practice when you’re studying the Bible), one of your questions might have been, “What exactly have we heard?”
In this passage, “the message spoken through angels” is referring to the law in the Old Testament. The writer of the passage is contrasting how at one time, God’s people were under the law, and their disobedience was measured and penalized by the law. But now, we have Jesus – the true and better law. His salvation, a greater salvation, is how we measure our lives. Because Christ paid for our sins, the penalty for our disobedience was paid for on the cross.
When we are encouraged to “pay close attention,” this is what we’re paying close attention to: our great salvation in Jesus, who is better than the angels (Hebrews 1:4), better than Moses (Hebrews 3:3-4), better than the law (Hebrews 8:6), and better than anything this world has to offer. We fix our eyes on Jesus, so nothing in this world will slowly (or quickly) drift us away from Him.
The truth is, as the famous hymn states, we all are “prone to wander Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” When our faith feels weak, when we are inevitably tempted to drift away due to abundance or scarcity, through earthly joys or deep sorrows, we must pay close attention to what we have heard so we don’t give in to our wanderings.
Hebrews 10:23 says it this way:
“And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy.”
Dear sisters, whatever you’re facing today, let me encourage you to look to Jesus. Pay close attention to who He is and what He’s done for you. Hold unwaveringly to the hope we confess, because our Savior is good, He is trustworthy, and He is infinitely better than anything this world has to offer.
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