Writing to the suffering, persecuted Jewish Christians, the author of Hebrews quotes a Messianic passage in the Book of Habakuk (2:3) in order to encourage and admonish his readers to persevere. Hebrews 10:35-37 reads, “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay…”.
‘He who is coming’, is undoubtedly a Messianic, eschatological promise referring to the return of Jesus who will come a second time to “bring salvation to those eagerly waiting for Him” (Hebrews 9:28).
What a blessed hope this is. Christ, our great high priest, is coming at the perfect, appointed time to save the people bearing his name. Whatever befalls us in this world cannot take away this sure hope––Christ is coming.
Published in 1779, John Newton and William Cowper, with remarkable artistry and biblical reflection, wrote 348 hymns comprising Olney Hymns––Olney being the locale where Newton, now a preacher, and Cowper lived (about a 1/2 mile across town from one another).
It’s in Hymn VII (7) of Book 1, Newton considered Esau’s foolishness in selling his birthright for stew. The author of Hebrews exhorts us in in 12:16 to flee from such vain, rash behavior like Esau’s that left him temporarily satisfied but eternally bereft. In the same way, giving into and living a lifestyle of sin in rebellion to God is a foolish trade of infinite proportions. Verse three of the hymn reads,
“What is it the world can provide?
A morsel of meat at the best!
For this are you willing to lose
A share in the joys of the blessed?
Its pleasures will speedily end,
Its favor and praise are but breath;
And what can its profits befriend
Your soul in the moment of death?”.
Surely, seeking the realization and consummation of the everlasting inheritance found in and through Jesus Christ, bought by his atoning work on the cross, is to be the highest and utmost aim of the Christian––and ought to be for every person. For truly, what would it profit a man if he gained the whole world but lost his soul.
For yet a little while, Christ, redeemer and King, will come. Christ will judge the living and the dead. Those cleansed by the blood of Christ to enter into eternal rest, blessedness and joy and those outside of Christ to eternal judgment and wrath.
Therefore, today, if you hear God’s word do not harden your heart but seek him. In yet a little while he will come.