Picture yourself laying back in a small boat on a lake, sun shining, breeze blowing, birds chirping. All’s right with the world and there’s nothing to disturb your peace. Blissful! How easy it is to just lay there and drift.
In the course of one perfect afternoon, your little boat could float from one side of the lake to the other, with just the lightest of breezes blowing. Of course, then will come the hard work of rowing back to the other side, but we can worry about that later. Let’s just enjoy this while we can.
As enjoyable and as easy as it is, drifting is not always safe. And that’s exactly what Heb 2 warns.
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it [Heb 2:1].
Mike explained to us on Sunday that the author of Hebrews was using a nautical term here when he talked about drifting. The word conveys the idea of missing your mooring at the dock, and being carried off by the tide and by the wind.
If your pleasant afternoon in the boat happens to be on a small pond, drifting may not be so dangerous. But to drift away from your mooring on a large lake – or worse – into the open ocean can prove fatal. For a storm can spring up in a moment, swamping your boat, and putting your life in danger.
As dangerous as this can be, it is far deadlier in spiritual terms.
Now, no one sets out to drift away from their faith, but that’s the thing about drifting; it happens so slowly – almost imperceptibly – that you don’t notice it.
Drifting is comfortable. It takes no effort. In fact, without effort, drifting happens naturally. You really can’t avoid it.
But drifting is evidence that you’ve broken away from your moorings. And the mooring – the safe harbour – for Christians is Jesus Christ.
As the verse begins, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard…” And what has the author been telling us?
About the supremacy of Jesus Christ. He is superior to the angels, for He is the unchanging God Himself. And the author is about to tell us of the sacrifice that God made on our behalf, tasting death for all who would one day be called ‘sons of God,’ and brothers of Christ. He propitiated (see below) the wrath of God to rescue us from our sin and our alienation from the Father.
This, friends, is news that is too good to let go of. This is news that should keep us moored tightly to Jesus Christ.
There is never a day of our life when we don’t need to be reminded of this good news. Lay hold of Him, and never let go, lest we drift away…