Dear Student of the Word,
It's time for another installment from our study of the letter to the Hebrews. As I have pointed out in previous studies, the writer of Hebrews was appealing to believing Jews not to return to a Judaism without Christ, which some were obviously considering. The writer pointed out that they had no hope if they turned away from the only hope of salvation to return to rituals and traditions. In this eighth installment, I wrote in the second day of this seven-day study:
Part Eight, Day Two
28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
10:28&29 – What strong language the writer used in this verse: “trampled the Son of God,” and “insulted the Spirit of grace” It is possible to think that because God is invisible or because He is longsuffering that He cannot be insulted or grieved. But God is a being and can be angered, offended or insulted. It is important that we not interpret that capability according to our sinful, human tendencies. If God is angered or offended, it is not because He has any inherent weakness or insecurity.
Remember that this letter to the Hebrews was written to those who were considering departing from the faith and returning to Judaism. To have done so would have insulted God and rejected His solution to mankind’s problem of sin. I do not want to ever insult God, do you? If your answer is ‘no,’ then make Jesus the only and main focal point of your life and walk with God.
10:30&31 – The writer quoted Deuteronomy 32:35-36 in these verses. God will judge His people to preserve them from their and His enemies, and anyone who walked with Jesus and then would turn back will be judged as an enemy. I don’t want to ever meet God as my enemy. That would indeed be dreadful. The writer has turned from passionate pleading and biblical arguments to strong language to keep those considering returning to Judaism from doing so.
There are some who believe that this standard represents God’s harshness. Let’s say that you jump out a plane but if you are wearing a parachute, you have a great chance of landing safely. Assume for a moment that you refused to wear your parachute and still jumped. When you hit the ground, it will be bad for you, but let’s assume you survive. Do you have the right at that point to shake your fist in anger at God for being injured? Did not God provide the way out of your condition that was caused by your decision to jump from the plane, so to speak?
Those who reject Christ and then accuse God of being angry or narrow are doing the same thing as the person who jumps without the chute. They reject the simple answer to their sin dilemma but curse God that He has not provided another answer – the answer they want but not the one God wants and has provided in Christ.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled What Would Jesus Ask You Today? Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Hebrews from God's word.