For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
– Hebrews 2:1-4
In this passage is an allusion to the comparison that is so often offered in the New Testament – the comparison of Moses and Jesus. Remember that Moses was a type of Jesus. As Moses himself said, and as we have read before:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
– Deuteronomy 18:15 (emphasis added)
Of course, Jesus was literally “raised up” but hardly anyone imagined that’s what the verse meant until the resurrection of Messiah actually occurred.
As is typical in these biblical comparisons – types and shadows – the reality is far greater than the pre-figuring. In this case, for example, Jesus is far greater than was Moses. Moses performed many miracles; Jesus performed many more. Moses crossed the Red Sea on dry land; Jesus walked on water. Moses gave the law to govern a nation until its Messiah came; Jesus gave the law to govern all nations for all time. Moses prepared the way for Messiah; Jesus was the Messiah. And so on.
The exhortation of the passage is that we should “pay much closer attention to what we have heard.” This is counter to most human habit. When we turn to the news, we want to hear something we haven’t heard before. Human beings have been this way since ancient times; you probably remember our reading this in one of our passages about what was commonplace among the ancient Greeks:
Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.
– Acts 17:21
Our salvation lies in paying more attention to something old.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, I want to keep returning to the most basic principles that You have laid down for us; help me…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)