Hebrews 4: 14-16
I must confess that I am a landlubber. I love the solid ground beneath my feet. Consequently, I know very few nautical terms. Port, starboard, stern, bow and amidships are foreign terms to me. I was intrigued to find several nautical terms used in Scripture. In the original Greek, the word is found in only two places – Acts 27:18-18 and Hebrews 4:16. The Acts passage describes Paul’s shipwreck and the sailors shoring up the boat’s hull. The Hebrews passage uses the word differently. Hebrews 4:16 ASV says, “Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.” This same seafaring word is translated “need or aid.” The actual term is “frapping the boat.”
Why use this nautical term? When a boat was in danger of sinking, the crew would strap ropes or chains around the hull to keep it from falling apart. With this added support the boat would have a good chance of surviving the stormy water. They frapped the boat. The writer of Hebrews was expressing an important truth. God can shore up our lives in order to withstand any storm.
In the tempests of life we may feel God has abandoned us to face these terrible trials alone. When we approach our High Priest with our seemingly impossible trials, He fraps the boat, that is, He shores us up like the boat in a storm. He doesn’t remove us from the storms but gives us the grace and mercy to withstand them. Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Father, when we are buffeted about by various trials and difficulties, help us to rely solely on our High Priest who will wrap us with His powerful ropes of love and protect us from the storms which would harm us. Amen.