Skip navigation

Throughout Hebrews, but especially in chapter 9, we see that the superiority in Jesus Christ; the New Covenant is compared to the Old Covenant, the Book of Law. The author highlights that Jesus’ sacrifice was once and done unlike the weekly sacrifices that the Aaronic priest were making. It’s also significance to recognize that the New Covenant is faultless due to the fact that it was dependent on God not man. The Old Covenant depended on man’s obedience to the law. If he obeyed, he was blessed. If he disobeyed, he was killed. Jesus’ sacrifice was beyond this concept.

Hebrews 9:22 “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” With sin comes, a need for blood. When Adam and Eve sinned, God had animals killed so that Adam and Eve could be clothed. There are consequences for our actions. But what does God want? In summary of Hebrews 10: 5-7, I think God is saying, your purpose is not to apologize for your mistakes but to do the will of God.

Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.”  If you’re not spending time with God, going to church, reading your bible, blogging about scripture or fellowshipping with other Christians, you might consider this a challenge to you. I pray for you now and ask that God direct each of you closer to Him.

Amen.

Hebrews 6:1 sums up my feelings right now. “So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding.” I am so sick of weak sermons, weak application of faith, surface level prayer. By the way, I’m talking about myself. Hebrews 1:9 says, “You love what is right and hate what is wrong.” I don’t always do this and I hate it.

Instead I should write Romans 7:15-20 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

However, I do not want to solely blame satan. I make a choice daily. Unfortunately, I drift away sometimes (Hebrews 2:1). But what can I do to correct this?

Answer:

1. Cling to him and never stop trusting (Hebrews 4:14)

2. Enter his place of rest (Hebrews 4:3)

3. Make sure that our own hearts are not evil and unbelieving (Hebrews 3:12)

4. Warn each other daily (Hebrews 3:13)

5. Keep up our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ (Hebrews 3:6)

6. Listen carefully to the truth (Hebrews 2:1)

7. Allow the Word to expose us for what we are (Hebrews 4:12)

8. Learn obedience from the things we suffer (Hebrews 5:8)

9. Train yourself [with spiritual disciplines] (Hebrews 5:14)

10. Rely on God’s promise and oath (Hebrews 6:18)

“…by a skilled craftsman.” // Exodus 26:1

This little blurb is seen in many parts of this portion of our reading.  God places an emphasis on the quality of everything dedicated to Him.  The garments that priests wore, the utensils used for sacrifices, and the temple…all were to be made “by a skilled craftsman”.

What does this look like for us today?  God makes it clear that burn offerings aren’t what He desires.  He simply asks for our broken and contrite hearts.  But in our service of Him, what does it look like for things to be done by a skilled craftsman…or is this irrelevant?

I read this and immediately thought of a blurb by Rob Bell (or some other current dude).  His statement was about ‘Christian’ music.  His point was that if music is going to be called Christian, it had better be amazing.  And as we can all attest, there is too much terrible music being labeled as ‘Christian’.  Chris Tomlin has some good hits, but is he really crafting amazing songs of worship?  I find that some of the most amazing worship songs were never even intended to worship Christ.  And the music that was intended to worship Christ is fluffy and weak at best.

Now, not everyone is an amazing worship singer/guitar player (aka Harrison).  But I still feel compelled to sing and play for Christ at times.  I am offering my best, even though it’s not THE best.  Maybe that’s the distinction.  Maybe that’s the point.

I say all this to discuss what it looks like for us as Christians to present our best to Christ instead of just pumping out volumes of work as if we could dazzle God with our industriousness.

Restitution by definition means reparation made by giving an equivalent or compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; indemnification. In chapter 22, the word is referenced several times. Mostly, the examples relate to livestock and their death. While I read this, I began to ask myself the question, “What does restitution look like in my life?” Am I providing restitution to God for his loss, damage, injury and death on the cross? Am I even attempting to live a life that could be confused for restitution? Yes I know that his death was restitution for me, for my sins. I know I should freely accept this but I also know that He did not intend that I accept it and live by my own accord. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” May I add to this that Jesus died for us, can I now live for him? Living for him is my restitution.

Exodus 15:26 “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on Egypt, for I am the Lord who heals you.”

The relationship that is described here brings me comfort. I read this and know that God’s intentions are not to harm me but to provide healing and redemption (salvation). That is what He longs for. Yes He might test me but He’ll never tempt me.

Exodus 16:4b “I will test and see whether they follow my instructions.”

The Lord wants us to rely on him. This testing is meant for that. I know that I rely on my own plans because they are completely known to me where as the Lord’s plan requires faith. While my plan seems to be more neatly laid out, it fails. I should never get upset with God for not revealing his perfect plan.

Exodus 16:8b “You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

When I get frustrated, I look for anyone and everyone to vent, gossip or complain to. I need to realize this as an offense against God and maybe I won’t do it as often.

 

“Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.  Miriam sang to them:

‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.'”

//Exodus 15:20-21//

I don’t know about you guys, but there is nothing more attractive than a woman who truly loves the Lord.  I have met many amazing, beautiful, talented, intelligent women in my life, but if she doesn’t love Jesus, these qualities only qualify her as a good friend.

Now obviously, not every girl that is a Christian is sane.  Sami, Sarah, Ana, and the plethora of crazy Christian women you have all dated are perfect examples.  But nevermind them.  Go eat some Panda and forget about it.

My point is, this passage of Miriam leading all the women in worship is so gorgeous.  I see a woman that is passionate for God, compassionate for her people, and lovely in every sense of the word.  My footnotes say that she probably had a voice like Mariah Carey or Ingrid Michaelson…scholars still debate between the two.  Anyways, may God drive our hearts to not settle and drive us to search for a woman that rivals the beautiful heart of Miriam.

“I will make a distinction between my people and your people.” // Exodus:8:23

I read this and wonder what we as Christians should look like.  How should our lives be different from those of unbelievers?  How should we stand out?  Should we blend in at all?  I fear I am the worst at blending in with my friends that are not followers of Christ. Verbally, they may know where I stand, but I think my actions certainly profess a gospel of confusion and hypocrisy.

God, grant us the wisdom and boldness to sacrifice the pleasures of this world to glorify and please you in all ways.  Forgive us for forsaking your perfect way of living for the illustrious but empty way of living this world offers.

“And that you may know that I am the Lord.” //Exodus 10:2

Everything that God did for the Israelites in Egypt (plagues, signs, miracles) was all simply to show the Israelites that He is Lord.  My atheist friends read this and think God is simply showing off to prove how great He is. As if he derives some sadistic pleasure from revealing to us how unlike Him we are.

But in reality, God dazzles the Israelites (and even us today) to make Himself known to us.  And not just for us to know that He is an abstract deity in the sky, but that He is a God that took on flesh…flesh in the form of Christ.  He is the God that invites us into constant communion with Himself.  If God is the source of all that is good, lovely, and perfect; it is not selfish for wanting us to know Him and His power, but in reality, is the most loving and selfless act that can be imagined.

“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” //Exodus 4:12

I’m learning more and more that God does not provide everything we need before we set out on our journey.  If you think of a nomad, he does not carry everything he will need for the rest of his life with him wherever he goes.  His heart is guided to where it desires and he finds/acquires the essentials along the way.  Our spiritual life is similar. Not to say that God never equips us beforehand or that we should be careless, but you may find that God simply asks us to go, first.  As Americans, our faith is often tainted by the Western mindset of hoarding , even spiritually.  We want a stockpile of insurance that our next step with God is going to be a success.  We want to feel centered and comfortable in our faith at all times.  I argue that this is not the faith God asks of us.

For those of you that have not read Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus, he writes a lot about the scriptural examples of Jonathan’s (Saul’s son) willingness to do what he thought God wanted done, despite the risks and lack of resources.

It is this faith that God asks us to mimic.  It’s not faith if we wait to have all the evidence and guarantee that everything will work out before we start a ministry, take a new job, meet a new girl, etc.  If we are daily aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit, we can begin to know more of the mind of God and what he would have us do.

May we learn to walk in faith like Jonathan and climb the cliffs, fight the battles, and win the hearts despite all the odds.

One of the most important pieces of scripture is laid out in these chapters. I was able to extract its relevance in my life today. Let me introduce the verses before I go on.

For those who read, this is a repeat. Quick summary, Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and are denied. Pharaoh increases the amount of work and the Israelites grumble and blame Moses/Aaron. They go to the Lord and question His plan (5:22).

The Lord responds with this:

God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD.  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD, I did not make myself known to them.  I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens.  Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’ ” (Exodus 6:2-8).

The Lord’s response is simple. He reminds the people of WHO he is and WHAT is covenant promised. What more do we need to seek. Within that promise, the Lord states that He will redeem. To redeem means  to purchase or deliver from sin. Jesus purchased us with His blood. Today, I do not need to know anymore than who God is and the covenant that He has purchased me and and continues to redeem me from my own sin.

Thus says the word.