IN the beginning, O Lord, You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will continue, they will all all grow old as does a garment, and as clothing will You change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail (Psalm 101:25-27).
Now, to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies the footstool at Your feet” (Psalm 110:1). Are they not all ministering spirits (that is, angels), sent for service, for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
That is why we should all the more earnestly observe the things we have heard, lest perhaps we drift away. For if the word spoken by angels proved to be valid, and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? For it was first announced by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard it.
Sorry for posting these later than expected. The Great Lent has, so far, taken the best of me...and we are only in the second week.
Just a couple of points on the text:
- In the first paragraph, Saint Paul is quoting from the Psalms. This particular psalm is one of a few instances in the Old Testament where creation of the world is described. The gist of it is that the earth and the heavens are temporary, compared to God. There will come a time when they will cease to exist, but God is eternal.
- "To which of the angels has He ever said..." God has never said anything remotely close to "Sit at My right hand..." But He did say it to His Only-begotten and Co-eternal Son - Jesus Christ.
"It was announced by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard it," that is the apostles. And through them it has been passed down to us. We have heard of this great salvation. We are participants in it. So, Saint Paul says, if the people in the past disobeyed a word of an angel, who was sent by God, and those people were punished (see for example, Zachariah, the father of Saint John the Baptist), how can we expect not to receive the same punishment if we neglect the message of the Son of God Himself, if we neglect the salvation that He acquired for us by His own death?
Yours in Christ,