The other word in contrast to earnest heed would be the last word of the verse, “slip” (KJV). What is implied by the contrast presented by the author is that if they don’t take in what He is speaking it may “slip” or as the Greek word “pararreō” implies, what was spoken might “glide by:” or, “lest we be carried by, pass by”
This is what can happen when we don’t take God’s word to heart especially when we become too casual with God’s Word. What you have in the verse is what appears to be mariner’s terminology where we can with common sense and knowledge assume that skill is required both by the captain and the shore-men to bring a ship to shore. This is the case with the content of chapter one where we have the most important aspects of the doctrine of Jesus Christ clearly portrayed. In short what chapter one is stating is that Jesus is fully God and fully man. This doctrinal point is what they (the readers) must take the more earnest heed to receive. They need to skillfully receive this doctrine and it must be properly settled and anchored within the harbor or center of their hearts.
Like a ship without a shoreman or a good captain, this critical doctrine will pass by if it is not anchored firmly in the heart, and there will be little hope for the intended recipients of this message. Chapter 1 of the book of Hebrews is a critical chapter. It seems so critical that you can’t very well move on to chapter 2, or any of the following chapters without first grasping the important truths of chapter 1. This is the reason you and I must take the more earnest heed.
This principle of taking heed skillfully may remind us of the parable of the soils. Jesus speaks about the need for a particular soil and condition of that soil for fruit to occur. Jesus likens the soil to our hearts. Chapter 2:1 of Hebrews seems to be saying; for you, Hebrews, I am not just randomly sowing seed everywhere. I am using intention and skill to make sure it lands properly in the best soil of your hearts. I end the devotion with the same sentence with which I began the devotion; do you take heed to God’s word?
By Gordon DeBever