Friday, July 26, 2013
Hebrews Chapter One Part 8
1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
This next quotation from the Old Testament focuses the reader once more on the primacy and supremacy of Jesus Christ over the created order. Note the little word “and” at the beginning of the verse. At the beginning of verse 8 the writer establishes the fact that his OT quotes are in reference to the person of Jesus Christ. The conjunction “and” denotes that his train of thought is being carried over to verses 10 through 12. Both Heaven and earth are the works of Christ’s hands. As the Creator of the universe He has power and authority to change it as it suits Him; and we read that one day He will do just that. The material universe perishes, but Christ is eternal and His years “fail not.”
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy,” Isaiah 65:17-18.
This quotation also excellently describes the law of increasing entropy, which states that a closed system, left to itself, will go from a state of order to increasing disorder. The universe is of itself a closed system, with no known way for new energy to enter in and “jump start” our winding down existence. The first law of Thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed but remains constant; the quantity remains, but the quality diminishes. The second law, increasing entropy, tells us in no uncertain terms that our universe eventually will “perish” and “wax old as doth a garment.” A closed system is sustained by outside influence. For example, a derelict house becomes ramshackle left to itself; one need do nothing to help it, it simply falls apart as time passes. But if a family who cares for said home dwells in it they produce something of a counterforce; they mend what’s broken and maintain what is not indefinitely. The same with our Lord. We are told that “all things” are upheld by the word of Christ’s power, Hebrews 1:3. Entropy is an evidence of sin in this universe. One day Jesus will do away with sin’s presence and there shall be established a creation free of its taint, and therefore free of its curse.
1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
The offer to rest at the throne of God was never made to any angel. The question is of course rhetorical. The offer is made to the Son alone. “The Lord (Yahweh) said to my Lord (Adonay), ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” Psalm 110:1-2.
As we have already seen from previous verses, angels are ministering spirits; one part of their mission is apparently to minister to Christians. The Greek word for “minister” in verse 14 is “diakonia” and can mean either “attendance (as a servant) or aid.” Since Revelation 22:8-9 demonstrates that angels are fellow servants, aid seems to be a more fitting word in this context. The NASB renders the passage “render service” instead of “minister,” NKJV. Either way, it is clear that the writer of Hebrews wishes to convey the idea that angels have their place, but their place in Christian worship and service is peripheral. They are fellow servants and worshipers, and the object of their adoration is (or should be) the same object that Christians rest their faith on: the triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To go farther with angels, or to credit to them anything beyond this, things that belong only to God, is to tread into error and court all manner of heresy.