Worshipped of Angels: A Look at Hebrews 1 (Pt.13)

But to which of the angels has He ever said: “ Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

The argument in order to offer a distinction between the Son and the angels continues. His intent is to make certain the reader is has well understood the urging he has presented.  The writer now draws from his previous thoughts in v. 5 when he stated For to which of the angels did He ever say then continuing with quotations from Psalm 2 and 2 Sam. 7.  The emphasis here is to make a reiteration from the previous thoughts in vs. 5-7. This is quite popular in Hebrew thought along with the technique of repetition for emphasis. Once again we have in this case a question asked which must be answered in the negative sense.

The writer proceeds to once again consistently cite OT passages to substantiate his claims. This time around he quotes from the 110th Psalm which is a very well known Psalm since it is the most quoted Psalm in all of the New Testament scriptures. This passage is corresponding back to v.3 where the writer states that the Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high once again pointing to the enthronement of the king. The fact that anyone could ever sit on the throne of God was foreign to Jewish thinking since it brought the concept of equality with God. This is exactly what enraged the High Priest during the Lord’s mock trial.

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. (Mark 14:62-63)

There has been some controversy surrounding the word till (Heos) where there seems to be a time of ending to His sitting on the throne. There have been those who would submit that Christ couldn’t be God since His reign on the throne will come to an end. To hold to this position in any logical terms would mean that one would have to ignore the previous 12 verses that demonstrate His divinity with clarity. Sadly this is the case, in our experience, with those who have a religion to defend. The earthly reign of Christ is in view here when He will leave the throne in heaven to make rule over the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 19:11-12; cf. Isaiah 63:1-3) What a glorious day this shall be!

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

We now turn to the final verse of the chapter however we stress in this last commentary that the argument of the writer does not end here. It carries on into chapter 2 and when one studies the entire letter with time and passion, there is much blessing that accompanies its examination.  Here the writer now returns to speaking of the angels once again similarly to v.5 and is contrasting the angels with the Lord Jesus. This should come to no surprise taking into consideration the audience to which he is writing. He wants to take the time to emphasize the point he has been making since the beginning of the chapter.

The ministering work of these angelic beings is captured in the testimony of scripture and was quite admired by these Hebrew believers. They would not have forgotten their roots! Their labors of the angels consist of protection (2 Kings 6:15-17), deliverance (Acts 5:17-19; 12:6-9) and taking an individual to heaven (Luke 16:22).[1]  The question that might come to mind is: why even mention this verse? The simplest reply we can give is that it keeps with the context to exhibit Christ’s superiority over the angels. The application here is to show the roles of both beings in that Christ is the one sitting on the throne as Prophet, Priest and King while the angels function as those who were sent forth as servants. It must be noted carefully that these angels are servants while the Lord Jesus Christ became a servant by His voluntarily taken on flesh.

Even though these angelic servants had historically displayed many tasks, the writer defines a particular work which is given to these servants in that they are to be ministers “for those who will inherit salvation”. There is particularity within this statement in that this labor they partake in is not for each and every individual who ever existed in history but to a specific group of people. They are those who have a future hope in the kingdom of the Lord! As genuine believers who are being sanctified in the Lord Jesus Christ, there should be a great comfort that comes to those who are the Lord’s people in that we have powerful servants ministering and watching over us even in our greatest afflictions. On our own accord we would fail miserably but the Lord who bought us with His own blood is the one who sees to our preservation and perseverance.

[1] Also see Exodus 23:20; 1 Kings 19:5; Psalm 91:11 and Mark 1:13


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