Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Hebrews 1:5-14
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 1:5
Verse 5 (continued): The next Old Testament verse quoted by the author of Hebrews is 2 Samuel 7:14. In that passage (2Sa 7:12-17) God made a promise to David concerning one of his “seed” (v 12). He said through this person David’s family would rule forever. God would never reject him as He had Saul, but would relate to him as a father does his son, disciplining, but never rejecting. At first glance one might assume this promise was intended for Solomon (v 12), but Solomon failed to remain faithful to the Lord during his years as king (1Ki 11:9-13), and his son’s foolishness caused ten of the twelve tribes to rebel against David’s family (1Ki 12:16). And finally the line of Davidic kings ended entirely in 587 B.C. with Judah’s exile to Babylon. So this promise must point to someone greater than David’s physical descendants. By the time of the prophets Isaiah (Isa 9:6, 7) and Micah (Mic 5:2) the divine origins of this Person was already being revealed. And here in Hebrews it is unequivocally stated that the “seed” promised to David is also God’s Son (Lk 1:30-33). This means both Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7:14 are meant to be taken literally.

Monday: Hebrews 1:6
Verse 6: The early church understood the phrase “Today I have begotten You” (Ps 2:7) to refer to Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Ac 13:33), so it is a very natural progression of thought for verse six to open with the words, “And when He again brings the firstborn into the world…” The word “again” indicates God will bring the resurrected Jesus into the world more than once. The first time would have been the resurrection itself and the second will be His “second coming.” The word “firstborn” when applied to the resurrected Jesus would be a shortened form of the phrase “firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5). This term identifies Jesus as the first of a whole race of humans who will be resurrected in the future. And as the first, He inherits the honored position of “eldest son” over all who will follow Him (Ro 8:29; Heb 12:28; 1Co 15:20-23). In other words, verse six is telling us that Psalm 97 looks forward to the moment when Jesus will return to the earth in power. It says His return will be marked by a fire which goes before Him and burns up His adversaries (v 3), and the earth trembling and the mountains melting like wax at His presence (vs 4, 5). And then verse seven (Ps 97:7) in the Septuagint reads “let all of His angels worship Him,” and since true angels would only direct their worship to God this means that the returning Jesus will be honored as the divine Son of God.

Tuesday: Hebrews 1:7
Verse 7: In this verse the author of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 104:4 to further emphasize the difference between Jesus and the angels. The key word in this verse is “makes.” The word tells us that angels are created spirits who have been “made” by God from nothing, just as have humans and the rest of the universe. On the other hand, as we saw earlier (v 5) Jesus was “begotten,” which is a very different process from being created. Begetting is the reproduction of one’s own nature into another person. Cats beget kittens, dogs beget puppies and humans beget babies. But when things are “made” they are different in nature from the one who is fashioning them. A carpenter might “make” a house or a cook might “make” dinner, or God might “make” the universe. So by “making” the angels God fashioned spiritual beings for His service, He didn’t beget them. There is only one begotten Son.

Wednesday: Hebrews 1:7
Verse 7 (continued): One further note we should observe here is that the word translated “winds” (“who makes His angels winds…”) also means “spirits” and this seems to make better sense. So Psalm 104:4 would read, “He makes His angels spirits…,” which He has. And the phrase quoted next, “His ministers a flame of fire,” holds a deeper meaning as well. The word translated “ministers” is associated with the service and worship of God, and that He makes these beings “a flame of fire” which is likely a phrase picturing the glorious light which emanates from them. When we put this verse back together we discover it is not saying that God makes angels into wind and fire, or for that matter that wind and fire are His angels, but rather that He created angels to be glorious shining spirits who would worship and serve Him.

Thursday: Hebrews 1:8, 9
Verses 8, 9: Having just said that God created angels to worship and serve Him (v 7), the author of Hebrews next quotes from two more psalms (45, 102) to further teach us the exalted position of Jesus as God’s Son. In verses eight and nine he quotes from Psalm 45 which is a wedding psalm apparently written for one of Israel’s historic kings. But the language contained in this psalm describes a person who is far better than any of the human kings descended from David. In fact, the “king” (Ps 45:1) for whom this was written is addressed as “God” in the two verses quoted here (Ps 45:6, 7). In Judaism if such words were not intended to refer to God they would be considered outrageous blasphemy. This is why the author of Hebrews is able to confidently assert that these verses must speak of God’s Son. It would be unthinkable for such words to be said about any human even if he is a king. Yet the psalmist prophetically saw a king to whom God Himself gives the title “God” and whose throne will be eternal and above all others (Da 7:13, 14).

Friday: Hebrews 1:10-13
Verses 10-12: These three verses are quoted from Psalm 102. In this psalm the psalmist laments about his own personal hardships, but then turns his thoughts to the coming of God’s future kingdom (Ps 102:18). He says, though his own life may be short, particularly in light of an illness he is experiencing, God is eternal. He existed before He created the universe (v 25) and will continue to exist eternally after it is gone (v 27). By applying such verses to Jesus the author of Hebrews is indisputably declaring Him divine. Verse 13: In Psalm 110:1 God the Father places someone by His right hand to whom David refers as “my Lord.” Before he quotes from this verse the author of Hebrews once again affirms Jesus’ superiority over angels by simply asking, “…to which of the angels has He (God the Father) ever said…,” leaving us to answer, “none!” There’s a place then at God’s right hand reserved only for His Son. No angel will ever sit there.

Saturday: Hebrews 1:14
Verse 14: Drawing on two words used earlier to describe angels (“ministers” and “spirits,” v 7) our author asks, “are they not all ministering spirits…” and then adds a clarifying statement to define one of the ways angels serve God. He sends them to take care of His people who after receiving Christ must continue to live in a sinful and dangerous world (Ps 91:11-13). By describing believers as “the ones about to inherit salvation” the author is not rejecting the idea that such believers are already saved, but he’s pointing out that during their lifetimes they still live in a fallen world and therefore have not yet arrived in their final state of glory (Rev 21, 22). They still face disease, injury, violence and demonic attack, so angels are deployed to watch over them. We see these “ministering spirits” at work in numerous places in the Old (e.g. Ge 19:1, 15; Jdg 6:11, 12, 20, 21; Da 6:22) and New (Lk 22:43; Ac 5:19; 8:26; 12:9-11; 27:23) Testaments.
 


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