5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”?
Or again,
“I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Hebrews 1:5–9 ESV Read More

If this passage sounds poetic, it’s because it is. The words the writer quotes are from the book of Psalms, which were songs. They weren’t like a lot of our songs today which is why it’s hard for us to try to sing the Psalms like the latest pop song.

But they were like songs of today in that they were memorized. In many Jewish circles in the time this was written, the Psalms were not numbered but had nicknames. Once somebody started one, everybody else would remember which one that was and at least know a few bits of it even if they didn’t have the whole thing memorized.

  • So when the writer starts these quotes, the people recognize them. Even better, they recognize the context and the rest of the song. Just like I can’t see a Chevette without hearing the Audio Adrenaline guitar riff, the reader probably associated some of these words with the rest of the Psalm. If you have a good study bible with footnotes and cross-links, it’s worth checking out. For instance:

3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind;
4 he makes his messengers winds,
his ministers a flaming fire.
5 He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

Psalm 104:3–6

Whoa.

Awe is increasing.

Not only are we put in awe of God, and they were already in a state of reverence and honor towards angels, but you’re telling me this guy that is the Son of God is higher than those angels?! (You see how I implied there that they were revering angels higher than God? If they were living day to day to please the angels, then who did they have their focus on? It’s a fine line isn’t it?)

So be in awe. Be shook. But be shook at the right Master. Angels are powerful and amazing messengers, but here comes One that was anointed by God beyond all other beings.

Instead of being a temporary messenger, Jesus has been given a scepter, a kingdom, which will last forever.

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