Sunday, 5 August 2018
For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You”?
“I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son”? Hebrews 1:5
The author now goes from his statement that Christ is “so much better than the angels” to a demonstration of this by asking rhetorical questions. He begins with “For to which of the angels did He ever say.” This is speaking of God making a statement about angels. Did God ever say to one of the angels, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You?” The answer is obvious, “None.” Angels are a part of creation. If they were not, then they would be God. As there is only one God, they are created beings.
The quote is from Psalm 2:7. The words, “You are my Son,” place “Son” in the emphatic position. It is true that angels are termed the “sons of God” in Job 1:6, but this is a collective term. Likewise, Israel is called God’s son as a collective in Exodus 4:22. However, at no time is an angel called, “The Son of God.” A distinction is being made in the use of the singular. But Christ is termed a Son, not merely by calling, but because He is begotten of the Father. It was on a particular day, “Today,” that Christ was acknowledged as such. As noted in the previous verse, it was “when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” With His earthly mission complete, the truth of the Sonship was validated. Israel had rejected their king; God had confirmed His Son.
With this unique relationship established, and which excludes anyone else (including angels), the author again turns to Scripture to confirm the analysis by asking his second question. It is based on the same main question as the first, “For to which of the angels did He ever say.” And the question’s proposal is –
“I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son.”
The answer is again, “None.” The quote is derived from 2 Samuel 7:14 (and repeated in 1 Chronicles 17:13 & 22:10), as it is contained in the Greek translation (the Septuagint). Initially, these words were applied to Solomon, but the nature of them led the Jewish nation to understand that they were, like the words of the 2nd Psalm, to be taken in a messianic tone. The words speak of a father in relation to a natural son who issues from him. Solomon was born of David, a king. Likewise, Christ is born from this same line of promise. Each king that issued from David might have been the Messiah, however, only one would be able to claim that role through an eternal, indestructible life. Only Christ meets that qualification. And yet further, Christ is born of the King of the universe. Thus the idea is extended not only to Christ’s messiahship over the Davidic throne, but to the kingship of Christ over all of Creation, including the angels.
It should be noted that both verses used for this line of argumentation have literal, human, fulfillments of them. And so it is easy for some to dismiss these arguments in favor of them speaking of Christ as unreasonably applied to Him. However, the expectation of these passages was, and even today is, that of a messianic fulfillment of them among the Jewish people. This was, like countless other passages of Scripture, the intended use of them all along. There are literal fulfillments of passages in people found in the Old Testament, and then there are the intended reasons for including those passages in Scripture, which is a greater fulfillment in Messiah. This is what is the case with these.
Life application: If you are reading Scripture and come across a passage which seems difficult to understand why God would even bother placing it in the Bible, it is a good clue to you that He is trying to get you to see a pattern, parallel, or picture of Christ in it. In the end, all Scripture given to Israel was for the purpose of them seeing their coming Messiah (John 5:39).
Lord God, it’s hard to understand how people can read the pages of the Old Testament and not see Christ Jesus on every page, and indeed in every word. You have carefully, meticulously, and methodically placed passages in Your word to show Him to us in a thousand varied ways. Studying the Bible from this perspective reveals Him again, and again, and again. Thank You for the sure faith we possess. It is grounded in thousands of years of carefully laid out types and pictures! Hallelujah for this! Amen.