Heb. 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Paul was talking about help in the midst of a life threatening storm in this verse. How do I know? He used the most unusual word word for help in this verse. It is an ancient nautical term called boethia in greek. This is the definition:
boetheia – aid; specially, a rope or chain for frapping a vessel:
frap – nautical term; to bind or wrap tightly with ropes or chains.
Paul was talking about a tactic sailors in his day used when a ship was being beaten by a storm and threatened to be broken apart. They would take ropes or chains and literally wrap the boat with these bands to strengthen the vessel. This would hold the wooden ship together against the pounding of the waves. Now do you see what Paul was trying to tell us? He was saying that we could be ‘frapped’, held together or helped by the strongest cords of all. We are held by the bonds of God’s love. Nothing can destroy us because we are helped by God.
So this verse tells us that we can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence in the midst of our storm and find help no matter what we may be facing.
This word, boetheia, is used one other time in the New Testament. It is found in Acts when Paul was traveling to Rome as a prisoner. The ship was caught up in a storm and the sailors used frapping to help save the vessel.
Acts 27:17 “Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.”
The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were being tempted to back down on theirs beliefs because of religious persecution. We live in similar times today. Paul was saying that no matter how hard the headwinds of resistance against you are blowing we have help that comes from the Lord. If the circumstances of your life are contrary to the gospel and the pressure from others to temper your beliefs is strong, it may be time for you to come boldly before the throne of grace. You will find well timed help that will be more than enough to get you through.