This passage doesn’t easily make sense to modern ears. The poetic beauty of the King James Version twists the sentences round. Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrase helped me understand it better:
Did God ever say to an angel, “You’re my Son; today I celebrate you” or “I’m his Father, he’s my Son”? When he presents his honored Son to the world, he says, “All angels must worship him.”
This New Testament writer is talking about the relationship between Jesus and the angels.
Angels appear in the Bible as heavenly messengers, and always they lead with this command: “Do not be afraid!” I recently heard Anglican church leader Michael Harvey talk about this tradition in reverse. Rather than thinking that angels cause fear, what if feeling afraid means God is drawing near?
There is abundant fear in the world right now. What if, every time our anxieties come calling, we imagined an angel close at hand? What if, instead of thinking our fear is a sign of God’s absence, we remember that fear brings God closer, to comfort us?
The Messiah according to this passage from Hebrews is even greater than the angels. The Messiah is the one whom the angels gather around to worship. Surely his power to overcome our fears must be even greater!
Wherever you hunker down right now, whatever particular fears you are facing, know the angels are hovering by, whispering “do not fear!” because the Messiah whom they worship is only drawing nearer.