Page 17 - February 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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earnest heed to the things which we have   applicable to us. Today, we have the final
        heard, lest at any time we should let them   and complete revelation. But how do we
        slip” (2:1).                          respond? Are we affected by what we
          The word “therefore” plainly means   read? Do we take God’s Word seriously?
        “for this reason” and clearly refers to   The words “we should let them slip”
        what precedes. The previous chapter has   (or “drift away” or “glide aside”) are from
        put great emphasis on the fact that God   the Greek word pararrhyeo, which occurs
        has spoken. No less than eight times is   only here. It is from the preposition para,
        this emphasised with the words “spake”   denoting beside, and rheo, to flow (see
        (v1), “spoken” (v2), “word” (v3), “said”   Joh 7:38). The danger is not that the truth
        (vv5,13) and “saith” (vv6,7,8). Speaking   drifts away, for truth stands firm (see Mat
        is the means by which God exercises His   7:24,25; 2Ti 2:19). Rather, it is we who
        authority and power (compare 1:3 with   drift away. Hence, the consequence of
        11:3) and communicates His mind and   negligence is inevitable drifting or, as we
        will (compare 1:1,2 with 2:3). The subject   often say, backsliding. Like a ship drifting
        of God speaking is so vital that in excess   on water, backsliding is subtle and has
        of 100 verses are occupied with express-  many dangers.
        ing, imparting or transmitting truth, and   Is there such a problem with
        all three members of the Godhead are   backsliding? It pays to consider the
        involved in it, e.g., Father (1:1,5), Son (1:2;   end to which it leads: “The backslider
        2:3,12) and Spirit (3:7).             in heart shall be filled with his own
          It is no surprise, therefore, that failing   ways” (Pro 14:14). Our ways are not
        to hear and respond to the Word of God   the Lord’s ways (Isa 55:8). “There is a
        is a thread running through the series of   way that seemeth right unto a man, but
        warnings. In chapters 3 and 4, the writer   the end thereof are the ways of death”
        repeats three times over, “To day if ye will   (Pro 16:25). Hymenaeus and Alexander
        hear his voice” (3:7,15; 4:7). In chapter 5,   were examples of those who drifted to
        we discover that they had become “dull of   a sad and perilous state. They “made
        hearing” (v11). In chapter 10, the warning   shipwreck” of their faith and were caused
        concerns sinning wilfully after receiving   to “blaspheme” (lit. speak impiously, 1Ti
        “the knowledge of the truth” (v26). The   1:19). Another example is Lot, whose
        last warning cautions against refusing   negligence and backsliding led to tragic
        “him that speaketh” (12:25). The recipients   experiences in the cities of the plain and
        had heard the Word of God but, evidently,   in the mountain cave (Gen 19).
        they had not taken it seriously.        It is imperative for all believers to pay
          God has spoken, and He has revealed   special attention to God’s Word because
        Himself perfectly in His Son. Thus, they   habitual and persistent negligence leads
        “ought to” (lit. must) give heed to what He   to backsliding. May God increase our
        has said. It is an absolute necessity. They   sensitivity to drifting, and move us to
        must also give “more earnest” heed, or   sincerely and diligently read and apply
        take heed “more abundantly.” They are   His Word to our personal circumstances.
        to pay much closer attention. The writer’s   “Buy the truth, and sell it not;
        personal application (“we”) serves to   also wisdom, and instruction, and
        emphasise that the exhortation is equally   understanding” (Pro 23:23).

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