A Warning to Drifters
Few set out purposely to disobey God, defying His commands and truth, but many, who are not careful, can drift away from Him or neglect His Word.
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 2
For you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the Lord our God, and whatever the Lord our God says declare to us and we will do it.’ 21 And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God in anything that he sent me to tell you. 22 Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live.” Jeremiah 42:20b-22
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? Hebrews 2:1-2
The remnant of Judah, poor people and some armed bands, left after the fall of Jerusalem had seen the land devastated by war. Nebuchadnezzar allowed them to stay in the land under the appointed governor, Gedaliah. They were allowed to enjoy reaping whatever harvest there was. Jeremiah also chose the option offered to him and remained in the land. Gedaliah was assassinated and the remnant got nervous. They went to Jeremiah for advice. “Should they go to Egypt?” They promised to do whatever Jeremiah said the Lord wanted them to do. They had good intentions. But when the answer came, it contradicted their preferences and they decided to go anyway. Jeremiah warned them of the grief they were bringing on themselves by their disobedience, but they would not listen.
The writer to the Hebrews warns his readers of the dangers of disregarding the gospel of salvation through the Son of God. There was a definite danger of drifting from it or neglecting it. We will learn that these readers were facing persecution and the author fears for their spiritual well-being.
It is easy to set out on a path of faith and obedience that it is to continue on that path when the trials and temptations arise. Jesus warned of this in His parable of the sower. The remnant had Jeremiah telling them to stay in the land according to God’s will. The Hebrews had the message of salvation “declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit…” (vs. 3b-4a).
Beware of drifting away, of neglecting God’s great salvation disclosed in His word. Read it and heed it, every day. Fellow drifters, we have been warned.