The Berean Expositor
Volume 42 - Page 139 of 259
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"If God permit" (6: 3 - 6).
pp. 92 - 97
"If God permit." It is most essential that every believer who contemplates running the
race, pressing for the prize, gaining the crown, and being numbered among those who are
called "the perfect" or "mature", should realize the meaning hidden behind the Apostle's
words, "If God permit". The verses that follow are an explanation, speaking as they do
of the impossibility of renewing again unto repentance those who, having tasted the
heavenly gift, fall away. The type given later, of Esau, is very explicit.
"Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  For ye know how that
afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no
place of REPENTANCE, though he sought it carefully with tears" (12: 16, 17).
The only occurrences of the word "repentance" in Hebrews are in 6: 1, 6 & 12: 17.
It is evident that the case of Esau is an amplification or an illustration of the case of those
spoken of in Heb. 6:
The words "If God permit" glance back to that period of Israel's history that has
already provided the great basis of exhortation in chapters 3: and 4:, "the day of
temptation in the wilderness". It will be remembered that, upon hearing the evil report of
the ten spies, Israel murmured and said, "Let us make a captain, and let us return into
Egypt". The Lord then bade Moses say: "As truly as I live . . . . . your carcasses shall
fall in this wilderness . . . . . and the people mourned greatly". It would appear also that
their mourning was in some measure a repentance, for "they rose up early in the morning,
and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto
the place which the Lord hath promised:  for we have sinned.  And Moses said,
Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper.
Go not up, for the Lord is not among you: that ye be not smitten before your enemies . . .
. . BUT THEY PRESUMED TO GO UP UNTO THE HILL TOP . . . . . then the . . . . .
Canaanites . . . . smote them . . . . ." (Numb. 14: 28-45).
In the words "but they presumed", we have a parallel with the expression in
Heb. 11: 29, "the Egyptians assaying to do".  This passage together with those of
Heb. 6: and 12: causes one to pause and think of the seriousness of the lesson here being
taught. Of a similar import is the saying of the Lord:
"No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking unto the things that are
behind, is well placed with a view to the kingdom of God" (Luke 9: 62 not AV JP).
The exact repetition of the words "The things that are behind" in Phil. 3: 13 is too
pointed to be a coincidence, the context being so closely connected with those we have
been considering. Having turned to Phil. 3: it may be as well to observe another
parallel before proceeding.  In Heb. 6: 6 there occurs that strong expression "having
crucified again the Son of God and are exposing Him to shame", and again in 10: 29,
"having trampled on the Son of God, and having esteemed the blood of the covenant a