1 Therefore, it is necessary for us to pay particular attention to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
2 For if the things that the angels spoke about have become firmly established, and every punishment and disobedience has received its just punishment,
3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? From the beginning this was received from the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.
4 God testified to this by signs and wonders, and by various works of power and the distribution of gifts by the Holy Spirit, according to His will.
Last week we look at:
1 What did angels speak about:
1 The established Law
The Law delivered to Moses is described by the word: bebaiov – Bebaios, and it means: (the words underlined are the translation of bebaios).
- Being firm: This word is used in Hebrews 3.6 as keep up, hold:
But Christ is faithful as the Son in charge of God’s house. We are his house if we keep up our courage and our confidence in what we hope for.
(But The Messiah as The Son over his house; and we are his house, if we will hold the confidence and the pride of his Gospel until the end;)
- stable: Hebrews 3.14:
For we are all partners with Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning.
(For we have been joined with The Messiah, if we shall hold fast to this true Covenant from the beginning to the end,)
- steadfast – unshakeable: Hebrews 6.19:
19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary.
(Which we have as an anchor that holds fast in our soul, which will not be moved, and has entered inside the veil,)
- It is sure and enduring.
- It is certain.
- It is dependable and reliable.
- It is guaranteed Romans 4.16:
16 And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God’s free gift to all of Abraham’s descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all;
(Because of this, he would be justified by faith, which is by grace, and The Promise would be sure to all his seed, not to the one who is of The Written Law only, but also to the one who is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,)
- It was a word used in regard to legal documents.
The laws of our country are passed by Parliament, then they go to the Queen, who signs them.
After that they are on the statute book, firmly embedded in the laws of this country.
I have translated ‘bebaios’ as being firmly established.
The writer to the Hebrews makes the point that what Moses received from the angles, who received it from God, was legally binding.
It had God’s stamp or seal on it as a guarantee of what would happen if they obeyed His law.
Also what would happen if they disobeyed His law.
2 Blessings & Curses
Therefore let us look at what God said about obeying His Law in Deuteronomy 28.1-24
The Blessings of Obedience
28 “If you obey the Lord your God and faithfully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, he will make you greater than any other nation on earth. Obey the Lord your God and all these blessings will be yours:
3 “The Lord will bless your towns and your fields.
4 “The Lord will bless you with many children, with abundant crops, and with many cattle and sheep.
5 “The Lord will bless your grain crops and the food you prepare from them.
6 “The Lord will bless everything you do.
7 “The Lord will defeat your enemies when they attack you. They will attack from one direction, but they will run from you in all directions.
8 “The Lord your God will bless your work and fill your barns with grain. He will bless you in the land that he is giving you.
9 “If you obey the Lord your God and do everything he commands, he will make you his own people, as he has promised.
10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that the Lord has chosen you to be his own people, and they will be afraid of you.
11 The Lord will give you many children, many cattle, and abundant crops in the land that he promised your ancestors to give you.
12 He will send rain in season from his rich storehouse in the sky and bless all your work, so that you will lend to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any.
13 The Lord your God will make you the leader among the nations and not a follower; you will always prosper and never fail if you obey faithfully all his commands that I am giving you today.
14 But you must never disobey them in any way, or worship and serve other gods.
The Consequences of Disobedience
15 “But if you disobey the Lord your God and do not faithfully keep all his commands and laws that I am giving you today, all these evil things will happen to you:
16 “The Lord will curse your towns and your fields.
17 “The Lord will curse your grain crops and the food you prepare from them.
18 “The Lord will curse you by giving you only a few children, poor crops, and few cattle and sheep.
19 “The Lord will curse everything you do.
20 “If you do evil and reject the Lord, he will bring on you disaster, confusion, and trouble in everything you do, until you are quickly and completely destroyed.
21 He will send disease after disease on you until there is not one of you left in the land that you are about to occupy.
22 The Lord will strike you with infectious diseases, with swelling and fever; he will send drought and scorching winds to destroy your crops. These disasters will be with you until you die.
23 No rain will fall, and your ground will become as hard as iron.
24 Instead of rain, the Lord will send down dust-storms and sand-storms until you are destroyed.
There is more, which I encourage you to read.
As we read this we can see that really it is a no brainer.
Who would want to break the Law of God that carries with it the guarantee of so much blessing.
It brings with it life.
In Deuteronomy 30.19- 20 God gives the people a choice:
19 I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.
20 Love the Lord your God, obey him and be faithful to him, and then you and your descendants will live long in the land that he promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
What would your choice be?
The law is made up of 613 commandments.
This may seem a lot, but in comparison to the law that come from our government or the European Parliament, it is very little.
From 1997 to 2007 and average of 2,685 laws were passed each year by the Uk government.
That is a staggering 26,850 laws.
However, in 2010 there were 3,506 laws passed.
Most of us would struggle to know 10 of them.
The truth is that the only person to completely keep every part of the Law of God was Jesus.
He completely fulfilled the Law in every respect.
Therefore, He dies a sinner’s death, but He was completely sinless.
We now move on to look at the word: transgression – parabasiv – Parabasis
- deliberately going over the line
- disregarding –
- a breach of the definite.
You boast about having God’s law—but do you bring shame on God by breaking his law?
(And you who are boasting in The Written Law, you violate The Written Law, and you insult God himself!)
Romans 4.15 the breaking of the Mosaic law:
The Law brings down God’s anger; but where there is no law, there is no disobeying of the law.
(For The Written Law is the worker of wrath, for where there is no Written Law, neither is there a violation of The Written Law.)
It is a deliberate rejection of the will, particularly the will of God.
It has the meaning of overstepping the line.
Going beyond what is permitted.
We may be familiar with the expression: ‘drawing a line in the sand’.
This has a number of historical references, one of which is from:
- 168 BC, a Roman Consul named Gaius Popillius Laenasdrew a circular line in the sand around King Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire, then said, “Before you cross this circle I want you to give me a reply for the Roman Senate” – implying that Rome would declare war if the King stepped out of the circle without committing to leave Egypt immediately. Weighing his options, Antiochus wisely decided to withdraw. Only then did Popillius agree to shake hands with him.
When I was teaching people to become driving instructors I always gave them this advice:
imagine a line running down the middle of the car, you must never physically cross that line, except to avert danger.
crossing the line is to go beyond where you should be.
In classical Greek it is stepping aside.
We might say ‘going a step to far’
This implies doing something different to what should be done.
It is to reject what has been given to us.
This is what Israel did.
Arrogantly they believed that they knew better than God.
Now let’s look at the word: disobedience – parakoh – parakoe
The basis meaning is:
a refusal to listen properly because of a negative attitude,
the deliberate rejection of God’s will,
deviation from obedience,
Here are some examples of parakoe:
And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.
(But if he will not hear them, tell the assembly, and if he does not hear the assembly, let him be to you as a tax gatherer and as a heathen.)
And just as all people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man, in the same way they will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man.
(For just as because of the disobedience of one man the many became sinners, so also because of the obedience of The One the many become righteous.)
Paul was talking about the disobedience of Adam and the effect it has had on the whole world.
2 Cor 10.6:
And after you have proved your complete loyalty, we will be ready to punish any act of disloyalty.
(But we are prepared to execute the punishment of those who do not obey when your obedience is fulfilled.)
This was Pauls’ response to those Corinthians who thought that he was all talk but no action.
Disobedience is costly
Israel suffered because she failed to keep the Law of God, the Law that had been delivered by angels, and had been firmly established.
It was the Law that guaranteed them life.
It was the Law that was for their blessing.
However, they abandoned God.
They worshipped the gods of the nations around them.
They got caught up in idolatry, temple prostitution, and worshipping at alters on high places.
Therefore, they suffered the punishment and cursing that God said would happen tom them.
The writer then moves on to say:
How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
That is for our next study.