Lamentations 3: 1-66
We start another funeral dirge and another Acrostic style poem today. This one is 66 verses long so that means that 3 verses correspond to a single Hebrew letter. I mean without waxing too poetic this morning, I am sitting here writing this while listening to a thunderstorm move in. And so, I as I move through these verses and listen to the boom of the heavens it all rings very true. “Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission?”
Hebrews 1: 1-14Well if you like to know who exactly wrote something and who exactly it was written to you are about to be disappointed. This book is plunked down right in the middle of the New Testament and we do not know for sure who wrote it because its style does not line up with anyone else’s style in the NT. The truth that it gives us is very Paul-like but not written like Paul. So, what are we to do? I have an idea. Let’s believe God when he says that all scripture is God-breathed and for our benefit to teach and correct us—cool? What we do know about the audience in this letter is that they have fallen for the same false teaching that has followed Paul around from church to church. They have also been under some kind of persecution and are thinking about giving up the whole “Christian” thing and going back to follow the Law. But the author lays out a beautiful argument on why they should stick with Jesus. The theme of that argument is that all the things before Jesus came were preambles to His Greatness. They were all pointing to him. And so, the author challenges them to not give up the Son of God for things lesser. My friend Jeff wrote a really cool song about the book of Hebrews, check it out here. This book will go through all the things that Israelites would have been able to put their faith in and prove that Jesus is the Perfect Sacrifice they are looking for. And guess what? Even if you are not an Israelite, you are prone to put your faith in lesser things so you will learn something too!
The first thing the author address is angels. The reason he had to address this is probably because of false teaching. That rings true because I don’t think anyone really understands who angels are and what they do even today. But the author tells us strait out who angels are. They are created beings that are servants to God. No, they are not our dead relatives that fly around helping us or bugging us. This was a tremendous comfort to me when I learned this because it freed me up to throw out stuff my dead relatives gave that I did not want anymore because I was no longer afraid of them coming back and haunting me. And the author proves that angels are lesser than Jesus because God made them that way. They are a totally separate creation from Jesus and from humans. They do what God asks. They are sent to minister to us because God sends them, but they do not hold the same place or title as Jesus. So, putting your faith in angels is missing the mark for who really is the best option for your faith. I am really so excited to go through this book together. It is going to be so good!