8th of the 11th month 2017/2018
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:1-4 “Because of this we have to pay more attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through messengers proved to be firm, and every transgression and disobedience received a right reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a deliverance, which first began to be spoken by the Master, and was confirmed to us by those that heard, 4 Elohim also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Set-apart Spirit, distributed according to His own desire?”
A few years back I did a message called, ‘THE DANGERS OF DRIFTING’, and I was gripped with the need to make mention, once again, the serious dangers of drifting away from the Truth, and how urgent our need is to be on guard against any form of drifting. In a message called, ‘DRIFTING DEFILES!’ I want to encourage you to ‘pay attention’ to the proper hearing, guarding and doing of the Word of Elohim, so that you can be a faithful witness and ambassador of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, and His coming reign!
As we consider these words from Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:1-4, we need to be consistent in our sober watchfulness of guarding the commands of Elohim and bearing the proper fruit of righteousness as we do our utmost in seeking to walk in the desire of Elohim, which is our set-apartness!
This chapter starts off with the phrase, “because of this”, in referring to what the writer had just spoken of in Chapter 1, regarding who Messiah is and so, what he is, in essence, saying here is that יהושע Messiah is not just another messenger/angel, but rather that He is the Son of Elohim, and by saying that he expands and declares this very plainly by declaring that He is the exact representation of His substance and we must therefore pay close attention to what we have heard. In a nutshell, if that which was spoken through messengers was firm and those who disobeyed got what was due, then how do we think that we shall escape the punishment due for neglecting the deliverance that יהוה Himself spoke of and brought by His coming in the form of fleshly man. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us in order to overcome the flesh and defeat sin, providing us a way to be overcomers in Him and therefore, we need to listen up! If we do not pay proper attention to this Good News and acknowledge that יהושע Messiah came in the flesh (which is simply to declare that יהושע Messiah is יהוה our Saviour), then we may find ourselves drifting away to destruction!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘have to’ is the word δεῖ dei – Strong’s G1163 which is a verb that means, ‘ought to, must, should, it is necessary’, and expresses a clear necessity of that which is need to be done or is required to attain some end. It speaks of something which should be done as the result of compulsion, whether internal (as a matter of duty) or external (law, custom, and circumstances)— ‘should, ought, to have to do, must’, and this comes from the verb δέω deō – Strong’s G1210 which means, ‘to bind, tie, put in chains, prisoner’. What is worth taking note of is that another word that is derived from the root verb δέω deō – Strong’s G1210 is the Greek word δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 which is translated in Scripture as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’. Why I am mentioning this is to simply highlight how true servants of the Most-High are to recognise the necessity of doing what should be done, according to the Word, and not neglect the proper obedience required in hearing, guarding and doing the Torah of Elohim. Many years ago, while still enslaved in a false system of worship, I would earnestly teach that one must obey the commands, and I had one gentleman who would get pretty angry at me and tell me that whenever I say the word ‘must’, he would shut his ears to anything further that I had to say and basically told me that he does not submit to the fact that he ‘must’ do anything!!! Well, what the writer, in this letter to the Hebrews, is saying is simply that… ‘we must’, as bondservants of יהושע Messiah, pay more attention to what we have heard, because of the clear witness of Messiah having come in the flesh!
Here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:1, the Greek word that is translated as ‘pay’, as in ‘pay more attention’ is προσέχω prosechō – Strong’s G4337 which means, ‘to hold to, turn to, attend to, pay attention, give attention’, and constructed from two root words: 1) πρός pros – Strong’s G4134 which is a primary preposition that carries the meaning of, ‘advantageous for, at, toward, about’, and 2) ἔχω echo – Strong’s G2192 which means, ‘to have, hold, consider, obtain, possess’ and expresses an active verb which can render the meaning, ‘to have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep’. This word ἔχω echo – Strong’s G2192 is also used of those joined to any one by the bonds of natural blood or marriage or friendship or duty or law etc. and can express the intensity of holding fast to or ‘clinging’ to something, and is translated as ‘possess’, in:
Yoḥanan/John 14:21 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Well, when we understand this, it makes perfect sense what יהושע is clearly saying, which is that to ‘possess’ His commands mean that we are to hold them fast; that is, that we are to guard them! One cannot be ‘guarding’ the commands if one is not doing them! And as we all should certainly know, a repetitive theme that we find throughout all of Scripture is that to ‘guard and do’ goes hand in hand! Therefore, to ‘stay’ in the love of Elohim, we must ‘possess’ and that means having a firm grip on the commands, by doing what is commanded! And here, in this letter to the Hebrews, we are able to see the clear and urgent call being made, when told to pay more attention to what we have heard, as it will be advantageous for us to possess the true witness of Messiah and guard His Word, as we guard to do that which hear!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘heard’ comes from the root word ἀκούω akouō – Strong’s G191 which means, ‘hearing, listen, give heed, understand’, and is translated as ‘hear’, in:
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Those who have ears to ear, obey, while those who shut their ears to the Truth are disobedient!
The Greek word translated as ‘follow’ in Yoḥanan/John 10:27 is ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō – Strong’s G190 which comes from the two root words: 1) Α, α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter of the Greek language and is used here as a participle of union, along with the word 2) κέλευθος keleuthos – which means, ‘a road, or way’ and therefore, this word ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō expresses the intention to ‘follow closely or going behind someone who leads the way’ or ‘to attend, to accompany, to go with or follow a teacher’.
To follow Messiah is not for those who just want to go for a stroll to see what happens – it is a commitment to walk and live as He walked and lived, giving us as a perfect example to follow! You cannot follow the Master if you are not hearing as you should and are not girded about with truth and have not put on righteousness, as you will be unable to walk as He walked!
Belief/faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Elohim! Now, a proper active hearing of the Word involves a diligent guarding to do what is heard! If you are not paying careful attention to the Word of Elohim and doing what is commanded, then you are in severe danger of drifting away from set-apartness
With this warning against drifting being given after Chapter 1, we recognise how critically important it is for us to make the bold confession of who Messiah is, as many have drifted away to false teachings that have denied Messiah having come in the flesh – that is to say that they deny that יהושע Messiah is יהוה our Saviour!
Our Mighty Master, Elohim and Saviour is the same yesterday, today and forever and His Word remains and stands forever! Those who have cast aside the need to hear the Torah and guard to do what is commanded therein, have drifted away to the delusion of lawlessness, as they have closed their ears to the hearing of the Torah and given their ear to many lawless ear tickling doctrines of falsehood!
While many may claim that they are not being led astray to deluded messages of lawlessness, their drifting to defilement is still a danger if they do not pay close attention to the proper hearing of the Word!
To drift away is a dangerous thing indeed!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘drift away’ comes from the root word παραρρέω pararreō – Strong’s G3901 which means, ‘To float by or drift past as a ship, or to flow past as a river.’ Figuratively it means, ‘to slip away’, suggesting a gradual, and almost unnoticed, movement past a certain point. It is used figuratively of persons meaning, ‘to glide away, to swerve or deviate from something, such as the truth, law, precepts.’
To ‘drift’ can also mean, ‘to move aimlessly from place to place or from one activity to another; to wander or move gradually away from a fixed course or point; stray’.
The admonition that is given here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:1-4 is clear:
PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE TRUTH SO THAT YOU DO NOT DRIFT AWAY!
To simply assume that we do not need to know the Word of Elohim, and disregard the importance of the Torah, would be a disastrous neglect of the Truth! And neglect for the Truth will cause one to miss deliverance! This is actually a very stern command that is being given here:
YOU MUST PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE TRUTH SO THAT YOU DO NOT DRIFT FROM THE TRUTH!
Do not drift from the Truth, and do not disobey the Truth, for the Truth has been clearly communicated through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah; and was confirmed by His disciples who had heard and witnessed all, and is confirmed to us by His Spirit as we give our ears to paying careful attention to the hearing the Word and guarding to do what we hear!
What we must realise upfront here, is that this letter is written to believers – that is – it is written to “Torah obedient professing believers”, who were in danger of drifting away from the Truth! A clear warning, we must constantly take heed of in our daily lives. You see, drifting is a mark of death, whereas heeding/paying attention is a mark of life.
The Torah is life:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:45-47 “And when Mosheh ended speaking all these words to all Yisra’ěl, 46 he said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. 47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.”
יהושע is the Word made flesh and drifting away from adhering to the instructions (Torah) of Elohim is a broad road to destruction and death. The problem with many of the recipients of this letter, was their inclination to go with the flow of the world around them, as it may have seemed easier to adopt the world’s ways in order to not come under heavy fire and persecution – and this was a stern warning for them back then and is still as stern warning for us who are alive today!
For many who have heard and received the unadulterated truth, standing firm in the truth often becomes extremely hard, as they lose the ability to stand and have to constantly ‘fight’ and struggle against everyone around them, even close family and friends, who continuously persecute them for righteousness sake; and what we must heed of here is that we must pay even more attention to what we have heard! Less attention to the lies and persecution and more attention to the Truth – or else we may find ourselves drifting away!
What are you lending your ear to? Lies that cause you to drift or the Truth that equips you to stand?
What most do not realise is that drifting is something that often happens unnoticed as it can be very gradual, where one does not even recognise that they have drifted, until it is too late!
As one considers the concept of drifting, we can learn some clear characteristics of drifting, as seen through the image of a boat drifting aimlessly on the sea.
To drift, according to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, can also be described, among other things, as follows:
A – a gradual shift in attitude, opinion, or position
B – an aimless course especially: a foregoing of any attempt at direction or control
C – a deviation from a true reproduction, representation, or reading especially: a gradual change in the zero reading of an instrument or in any quantitative characteristic that is supposed to remain constant
In a nutshell, in terms of the kind of drifting we are speaking of here, we can recognise the danger that s being warned against. We are warned from allowing a gradual shift in our position and warned against letting go of controlling our walk by being led aimlessly astray, to the point where the proper characteristic of set-apartness, which is to remain constant, has been gradually changed to allow compromise that defiles our witness!
Consider carefully the following 5 characteristics of drifting:
Firstly, drifting requires no effort! Hear what I am saying here: to drift It requires no effort at all! It is ‘a letting go’ and going wherever the current takes you, which is something that so many so willingly subscribe to as they say, ‘just go with the flow’. It takes no effort as the current of falsehood will drag you along of you do not take a firm stand on eth Rock of the Truth!
Secondly, drifting is an unconscious process, as it happens, more often than not, without one even realising it! If one is not consistently meditating on the Truth then drifting can happen as one is led by emotions that may be driven by a flow of deception that tends to tickle and satisfy one’s fleshly response to trying times!
Thirdly, you can never drift upstream or drift against the tide! Drifting has no control and simply will go with the flow of the mainstream! True faithfulness is like rowing upstream, as one constantly adds to your faith and goes against the flow, so to speak. When you stop growing, you end up drifting and go backwards!
Fourthly, the speed going downstream only increases, and therefore the danger increases with the speed of the drift! The more who are drifting in compromise, the stronger is that drift current which will easily catch the one not paying attention! What many do not realise is that when you can hear the sound of the waterfall it is often too late!
Fifthly, drifting is dangerous to others too, as you can end up dragging others, who are weakened in their ability to row, along with you, causing the undercurrent of your drift to pull them with you!
So, how does one recognise, or identify, the possibility that they are in danger of, or have been, drifting?
One of the primary signs that one may be drifting is when one experiences a diminishing desire to study Scriptures and pray!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.”
Where are you getting counsel from and what company do you keep? Do you delight yourself in the Torah of יהוה or does the ‘news and ways of the world’ grab more of your attention? Are you standing firmly dressed in the armour of Elohim and after having done all, keep standing firmly dressed in the Torah or do you find yourself standing in the path of sinners and find that you are unable to take a stand amidst wickedness and compromise, which causes you to conform to the ways of the company you keep? Are you meditating on the Torah day and night or do you find that your desire for the Torah has diminished?
A sure sign that ‘drifting away’ may be a reality, is when you have lost the zeal and love for digging in, studying, meditating and delighting in the Word of Elohim! If reading has simply become a ‘duty’ to do for a moment each or even each week, then you may be drifting! As a faithful ambassador and bondservant of Messiah, it is certainly our duty to read, study and meditate on His Torah, but when it becomes a ‘boring duty’ that one thinks they have to try to slot in whenever there is a gap in their schedule, then they may actually be drifting away already! A sign that drifting is occurring is when you find yourself less and less in the Word and in the process the desire to read the Word becomes less and less!
Another sign that a drifting away may be happening, which would coincide with being less in the Word, is when one has no desire for true fellowship! The lack of a desire to gather and fellowship with fellow believers is a huge warning sign that drifting away may be in play.
Tehillah/Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of יהוה.”
Are you glad to come together in fellowship? Dawiḏ got excited by the call to fellowship in יהוה’s presence, and by implication this would certainly speak of gathering at the Sabbaths and appointed times of Elohim!
Fellowship is key in guarding against drifting away and when you start neglecting fellowship and have a diminishing desire to be in fellowship, you may just be drifting and in need of some rowing back to fellowship, so to speak!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the day coming near.”
It is if vital importance that we do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some!!! We are to stir each other up, to be urgent in a proper love that works!!! While many may be able to hide the drifting sign of not being in the Word on a daily basis, assembling as one should is not an easy thing to hide, as everyone else who gathers can see who is not gathering and while we recognise that this was an issue at the time of this letter, we recognise that proper consistency in gathering and building one another up is still a huge issue today.
Now, for some people it has certainly become hard to find a proper place to gather with like-minded believers who do not compromise the Truth, and with the ability to connect online with others, a means to communicate and even assemble with others who are extremely far away from one another has been made possible. While this may be true, what we have noticed today is that there are many in the body of Messiah who may indeed have a place, that is within reach, to assemble with other, yet they simply refuse to gather together on a consistent basis, as it may not always convenient for them to do so or they lack the actual desire to gather and this can be a sign that drifting away may be gradually at work!
Another clear sign that one may be in danger of drifting away from the truth is when they lose the zeal for the truth, and by that, I mean that they lose the zeal to witness the truth and proclaim the reign of Elohim! This will certainly happen if one is not in the Word and is not fellowshipping or communicating with others in the body, as they are more influenced by the worldly company that they keep instead of being an influence to the worldly!
If your desire to share the truth and be the true salt and light has diminished then it may be a sure sign that you have been or are in the process of drifting away! When you start losing the ability to faithfully witness with boldness and great joy – you may be drifting. Just because others are not rowing upstream – that doesn’t mean you must stop – this is an endurance call!
Are you guilty of drifting away in your faith walk?
Many are guilty when they are ‘hearing but not hearing’, as they may even continue to hear the Truth but do not do what it teaches.
Drifting, in this passage, is given in terms of the language of the sea; suggesting an image of a ship whose anchor is broken, possibly due to rust, and has been loosened from the ocean floor and is drifting away from its position, which is not a sudden or dramatic change, but rather is slow, quiet and progressive; all because of a lack of maintenance and watchfulness! Drifting is the result of surrounding sin and undercurrents in and around our lives that cause ‘rust’, so to speak, and so often, the result of sin is not so much as the intention to sin, but rather the carelessness and inattention to the Truth that guards us from sin; and the problem is not the lack of knowledge, or access to hearing, but rather a lack of paying attention to what we hear.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, 25 and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, 27 and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and great was its fall.”
Is there any rust forming slowly in your life, due to neglecting what you hear in the Word?
Has rust formed in your life, so to speak, due to less time in the Word, less time in fellowship and less time in being a bold witness of the Truth?
To drift away is a gradual process that often goes unnoticed… until it is almost too late! The Good News is that as long as you have ears to hear, it is not too late to stop drifting away and get busy rowing back to the Master!!!
In Ḥazon/Revelation 2, the rebuke against the assembly at Ephesos was that they had left their first love – they had drifted from obedience – for יהוה is our first love and love for Him is to obey Him! If you have found that you have drifted – return to obedient love, acknowledge the Truth and get rid of all the rust! We must have a strong anchor – Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:18-19 tells us that we are to lay hold of the expectation set before us, which we have as an anchor of the life which is both safe and firm!
Qolasim/Colossians 2:6-8 “Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk in Him, 7 having been rooted and built up in Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary matters of the world, and not according to Messiah.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:14-15 “so that we should no longer be children, tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, in cleverness, unto the craftiness of leading astray,15 but, maintaining the truth in love, we grow up in all respects into Him who is the head, Messiah”
יהושע Messiah must be our one and only anchor!
As we consider the image of a boat that has drifted along, possibly due to an anchor that had rusted away and broken as a result, we can recognise the picture of taking up the oars and rowing back to the secure position of the Truth!
While drifting takes little or no effort, rowing back takes and requires one removing all that would hinder one’s ability to keep steadfast and firmly anchored in Messiah!
Rowing makes you strong and your muscles grow from good exercise, diet and rest! Feeding on the Word, and rowing accordingly, and having the right rest, will make your faith muscle grow. What hinders muscle growth are worries/stress/bad foods etc., as they only break down your muscle tissue and so we are to remove all that hinders growth. The Word of יהוה is our daily bread – walking according to His rules is His exercise programme that will strengthen us and make us fit enough to endure and not drift away!
In guarding against drifting, we are to recognise, as a body, that we are in this together! In Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:22-25 we see the term ‘let us’ used three times and declares that because we have a High Priest ‘let us’:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:22-25 “let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy. 24 And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works”
Together, we are to draw near with a true heart; hold fast to our confession, not give up and be concerned for each other – this is how we will prevent drifting. Fellowship and Community living is vital for us as we go against the stream, together!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews is a great letter which spells out very clearly who Messiah is and how we have a High Priest forever and contains great encouragement for us just as it did for those early believers who faced great discouragement, and at the same time it gives us stern warnings against drifting away. As one turns their ear from hearing the Torah, no longer paying proper attention to what they hear, then, in drifting away, they will find themselves doubting the very truth that they have drifted from!
Drifting away will cause doubt and unbelief and chapter 3:12 makes it clear that the writer is writing to ‘believers’ as he says, “Look out, brothers,” and this was not to those outside.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:13 “Look out, brothers, lest there be in any of you a wicked heart of unbelief in falling away from the living Elohim, 13 but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin.”
Encouraging one another is vitally important in keeping the body, or members in it, from drifting away. When one drifts away, hearts get hardened by the deceivableness of sin, which is lawlessness.
We are commissioned to encourage each other daily so that we are not hardened by sins deceivableness because we have become partakers of Messiah and must hold fast till the end! In Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:7 and Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:7 we are told that if we hear His voice, we must not harden our hearts. We must not doubt His Word – the danger is that we will not enter His rest.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:4-8 “And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it shall be given to him. 6 But he should ask in belief, not doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man should not think that he shall receive whatever from the Master – 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Drifting happens as a result of idleness or laziness, which may be due to one not having the stamina necessary to endure to the end. Rowing build strength and stamina and as we hold firm our position in the Master we cannot allow drifting to cause doubt and instability!
When one drifts away then one’s ears become dull of hearing, and in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:11 the writer says that some of the listeners had become dull of hearing!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:11 “concerning whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sluggish’ is νωθρός nōthros – Strong’s G3576 which means, ‘sluggishness, slow. Lazy, slothful, dull’ and this word is only used twice in the Renewed Writings (N.T.), both of which are found in the letter to the Iḇ’rim/Hebrews. The other verse in this letter where we see this word being used in in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:11-12 “And we desire that each one of you show the same eagerness, to the entire confirmation of expectation until the end, 12 in order that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through belief and patience inherit the promises.”
After issuing a clear warning against falling away from the Truth, the writer of this letter encourages the readers to be steadfast in showing a true eagerness for the Truth and be on guard against the dangers of becoming sluggish.
They had become lazy in their hearing of the Truth and as a result they could not receive the meat/solid food of the Word, as they needed milk all over again, showing that they were inexperienced and immature! The danger of this is that they could never go on to perfection; and sadly, we take note that many who have tasted the Good News yet grow sluggish in their hearing and become lazy often fall away. In chapter 6 the danger of this dullness is made clear as we see that it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, having tasted the Good Word and been partakers of the set-apart spirit, to be renewed to repentance! We must not become sluggish in hearing! Hear what the Spirit is saying to the assembly! When you grow lazy in hearing the Word you become malnourished and lose your senses and become deaf, unable to hear the Truth any longer! Let us not become deaf but rather go on to perfection by showing the same eagerness as we did when our Master called us out of darkness into His marvellous light!
As one drifts away, due to not paying attention to properly hearing, guarding and doing the Word of Elohim, doubt begins to settle in and instability causes one’s ears to become dull, leaving one extremely sluggish in their duties, which in turn, causes them to despise and disregard the very Word that ought to delight in!
Often, those who have drifted away and have become dull of hearing, refuse to be disciplined by the Word and despise the discipline of Elohim, which is the very things we ae told not to do, as the writer quotes Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:11-12 here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:5
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, and do not loathe His reproof; 12 for whom יהוה loves He reproves, as a father the son whom he delights in.”
The Hebrew that is translated here as ‘despise’ comes from the root word מָאַס mâ’as – Strong’s H3988 which means, ‘reject, completely abhor, despise, refuse, cast away’.
To despise and reject His Laws takes a clear choice to refuse to obey; and today so many have cast away His Torah as they render it null and void in their hearts and as a result they do not realise the consequences that this rejection of His laws will bring upon them, lest they repent.
Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.”
Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 “While you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?”
The danger of drifting away and becoming dull of hearing will cause one to reject and despise the proper discipline that the Word can bring, for without the proper discipline of the Word we cannot be brought to a place of maturity nd perfection in the Master!
The Word is very clear, as we see that we are told in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:26-39 that if anyone who disregarded the Torah of Mosheh died on the witness of two or three witnesses, how much more, then, those who despise the Son of Elohim and treat His blood as common. We are to live by faith to the preservation of life and not draw back to destruction. Having received the Truth we are to walk in it and not despise it by wilfully sinning for which there is no forgiveness!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:26-27 “For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins, 27 but some fearsome anticipation of judgment, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents.”
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 15: 30-31 “‘But the being who does whatever defiantly, whether he is native or a stranger, he reviles יהוה, and that being shall be cut off from among his people. 31 ‘Because he has despised the word of יהוה, and has broken His command, that being shall certainly be cut off, his crookedness is upon him.’”
Wilful sinning, as a lifestyle, and the refusal to change is regarded as sinning with a high hand and that is not good – the result is that one doing this will being cut off!
While we can recognise the clear and present danger of drifting away from a proper paying attention to the hearing, guarding and doing of the Word, and see how it can cause one to doubt, becomes dull of hearing and despise proper discipline, we also must recognise that if one does not guard against drifting away then they become defiled and unable to serve!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:15-16 “See to it that no one falls short of the favour of Elohim, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, by which many become defiled, 16 lest there be anyone who whores, or profane one, like Ěsaw, who for a single meal sold his birthright.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘defiled’ comes from the root word μιαίνω miainō – Strong’s G3392 which means, ‘to stain, defile, pollute, contaminate, soil’, and this word is used in Sha’ul’s words to Titos, in:
Titos/Titus 1:15-16 “Indeed, all matters are clean to the clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving no matter is clean, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T) in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 20:30 “Therefore say to the house of Yisra’ěl, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Are you defiling yourselves in the way of your fathers? And do you whore after their abominations?”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘defiling yourselves’ is נִטְמְאִים – nithme’iym which comes from the root verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, ‘to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’.
This question, ‘Are you defiling yourselves in the way of your fathers?’ is a question that is still being asked through the mirror of the Word to many today! What is important for us to understand is that in the service of the tabernacle if a priest became unclean or defiled (טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930) then they would be unfit for service as they would be ceremonially unclean and unable to perform the required set-apart duties of the priesthood. As we consider that, as the body of Messiah, we are a called out, chosen, royal and set-apart priesthood, we must make sure that we do not defile ourselves and so render our lives as being unfit to serve our Master in Spirit and Truth!
We must see to it that none of us fall short of the favour of Elohim and end up becoming defiled through bitterness. So many are bitter and end up selling their birth right just like Ěsaw – all for a single meal. Let me warn you – all it takes is a meal of twisted truth that is riddled with lies and deceit to cause you to fall short. All it takes is that one ear tickling message you went to seek out because you didn’t like the Truth and what it revealed in your life. Many have sold their birth right and will too one day seek to inherit the blessing with tears and will sadly be rejected. Just as He shook the earth back then; not only will He shake earth again but also the heaven! Do not become defiled through denying the Truth. So many start out strong yet drift away slowly and end up denying the Truth, thus defiling themselves and rendering themselves unfit for the Kingdom!
In motorsport, drifting refers to a driving technique where the driver intentionally over steers the car, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns while maintain control of the vehicle at a high exit speed through the turn. In simpler terms – a car is drifting when the car is turning left while the wheels are pointed right or vice versa! Not something you should try at home so to speak. Now as much as this seems thrilling and adventurous – it is also dangerous and life threatening, yet this is not the drifting, or drifting away, that I am referring to.
If you have found that you have been drifting away, and think that you can be like the skilled motorsport drivers that ‘drift their cars’ and think that you are in control, with your feet (wheels) in one direction and your eyes (car) in another, so to speak, then realise that it is not the way you should be trying to handle your walk. Let Messiah take the lead and stop being a drifter, but rather become a strong rower, so to speak, as you clearly heed the dangers of drifting away and becoming defiled through such drifting!
In summary: Drifting away, which happens as a result of not paying proper attention to hearing, guarding and doing the Truth, causes rebellion and makes one dull of hearing, which in turn leads to one despising and denying the Master, rendering their ability to serve being rejected for being defiled through the deceivableness of sin, which is lawlessness, and as a result cannot enter into the Kingdom reign and rest of our Master!
What we are able to see to day is how self-will seems to be the driving force behind so many, as they fail to submit to יהוה’s will being done in their lives, primarily caused by a gradual decline and a drifting away from set-apartness, which calls for one to live wholeheartedly unto יהוה!
The bottom line is this:
As you consider these words, be warned against the deadly effects of drifting away, and be sure to have ears that are continually open to hear what the Spirit is saying as you pay attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away!
In closing, I will leave you with these clear words of Sha’ul, highlighting what the desire of Elohim is for us! Our set-apartness can only be kept set-apart if we guard against being defiled because of drifting away!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 “For the rest then, brothers, we beg you and call upon you in the Master יהושע, that as you received from us how you should walk and to please Elohim, you should excel still more, 2 for you know what commands we gave you through the Master יהושע. 3 For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the nations who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but Elohim, who also gives us His Set-apart Spirit.”
You have been called to set-apartness – now remain in that which you have been called to, lest you drift away!
He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!