Hebrews 12:14-24 by Pastor Don
I will continue with the Friday Bible Study notes. I sure wish you could come to our studies, they are so much fun. Good food, good fellowship and great teachings – what more could you ask for?
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord
We need to pursue peace, peace is not a given, we need to go after it. When you hear bad news – pursue peace. Your mind is under control of the Spirit, so we do not have to live in terror.
We also need to pursue holiness. We are a child of God, sanctified, set apart. Yes, we have our day-to-day life and interactions, but we are in this world, not of the world. We need to carry on and do our work, not works for salvation but work for His Kingdom – faith without works is dead. But we are working for His (God’s) house and His people.
We need to be careful what we say about a saint. God is watching. While we need to love all people, we don’t necessarily have to like them.
Hebrews 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
We want no roots of bitterness. Roots that are not pulled out can spring up and cause trouble, and that can cause us to become defiled. God will cover us if someone sins against us. King David asked God to take revenge on his enemies, David did not touch God’s anointed.
Pastor Don told us that if someone has hurt him, he prays for the other person, because he does not want the blessings from God to be blocked by bitterness. It is not worth it to get revenge. Pastor Don prefers to stay under the umbrella of God’s protection.
God gives us a sense of self. Adam and Eve had enough self so they and we do not do stupid. We all have a sense of self-preservation. But we need to give our selves to God, is pride on the throne or is God on the throne? Our motivation needs to be we want to see God, to see His face and His hands.
Hebrews 12:16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils, he did not value what he had. What Esau did was look for the momentary self-gratification, the immediate need. He did not consider what would be best for him down the road. Esau did not think long-term.
Pastor Don reminded us about Peter, who after Jesus led the disciples to let their nets down, realized who Jesus was and told Jesus to get away from him, for Peter told Jesus he was a wretched man. Yet Peter began to follow Jesus, to learn and obey Jesus. Peter knew that was where he would get the most long term.
To get a clear picture of Esau selling to Jacob his birthright, we need to remember that Isaac was Jacob and Esau’s dad. Isaac was rich and powerful and Esau was a son. Esau should have realized that Isaac had what was best for Esau long-term. Being in that household with all the servants and members of the family, Jacob was not the only source for food, Esau could have found food somewhere in that camp.
Before we speak, we need to do the ten second rule – take ten seconds to consider what we are going to say so that we are careful about what comes out of our mouth. We need to ask ourselves, who am I talking to? What am I talking about? And, what happens if I say it? We could save ourselves a lot of trouble by doing that.
Hebrews 12:17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
He cried because of the riches he lost, not about the relationship with God that he turned down. There was no place for repentance in Esau. The sorrow was not based on a heart issue, not sorrow for dishonoring his father and God, his sorrow was for eating a bowl of lentils and losing the riches his father owned. He was sorry for missing stuff.
Our parents can work their whole lives and we as foolhardy teenagers can go off, living whatever lives we want with no concern for our parents, but expecting that when they croak we will inherit their belongings. And yet, the richest thing we can leave our children is a strong foundation of values, time spent with them, and love. To raise our children in a heritage of Jesus.
If our parents can teach us stick-to-it-ness, a stubbornness and perseverance these things are of value, but only if we are pointed in the right direction. Even if our parents had a negative impact, it is still important for us because it lets us know what we don’t want to be.
The Father wants to give us a covenant agreement, wanted Esau to have that covenant agreement, which entailed more than belongings – it was the covenant relationship with God that was most important, not the stuff. When Esau rejected his birthright he was not entitled to the blessing.
Esau should have known that his birthright would have delivered him from that situation, for that momentary hunger. He basically gave his birthright for a meal. He was in his father’s house, and had much available to him.
If we have faith and a relationship with God, our covenant relationship is worth something. God may have to take away some stuff to bring us back to Him. So often we trust in stuff, not in God.
Esau did not trust in his position as eldest son, in his birthright, in his heritage.
Jacob was a mama’s boy. Esau was a hunter and rough and tough like his dad, comfortable around beasts.
Pastor Don pointed out that in these end times we are losing the culture war. What will we do or say when the antichrist tells us we have to take a mark to buy or sell? Will we sell our birthright in God for food? How will we behave when our back’s up against a wall?
Hebrews 12:18-19 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
When God spoke to Moses the people perceived thunder and lightning and became scared. They decided they did not want to talk directly with God, they would rather that Moses talk with God and report to them. They were afraid. This was not what God wanted, for He wants a relationship with all His people, but the people chose not to deal directly with God.
Hebrews 12:20-21 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
Moses was also afraid. Yet God entered into a covenant with Moses and the Children of Israel. This covenant was a birthright for us all, but many have turned their back on it.
Pastor Don then told us that on tours of Israel people are brought to a mountain that is claimed to be Mount Sinai, but it is not. He feels that the real Mount Sinai is in Arabia, for the mountain in Arabia has all the things mentioned in the Bible about it. There was lightning and fire from heave, and the mountain in Arabia has burnt stones. Over a million people camped at it’s base, the mountain in Israel did not have an expanse of land big enough to do that, so the mountain in Arabia better fits the description. There were twelve pillars of stone, but in Israel there is no pillar remnants found. When Moses struck the rock water came forth. When we are able to see where the true experiences occurred it builds our faith.
Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest
God spoke in a way that was frightening to the Israelites. The Holy Spirit speaks as comforter and does not rattle and shake us to death. We are under a different covenant so we can be in a spiritual relationship.
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were in a direct relationship with God. The were innocent and not aware of sin.
As an example, Pastor Don pointed out that if the road outside the church had no speed limit signs we could go any speed we wanted and not be breaking a law. But once a speed limit sign was put up, if we go faster we are breaking the law. You can’t break a law until the law is established. Once the law is established, even if you don’t see the sign and you break the speed limit you are still subject to the law.
But before the law began to be established, Adam and Eve had no concept of evil, no demonic thoughts, no shame.
God set up circumstances so that we could again have a relationship with Him and be of His Kingdom. When mankind was created, we were created in God’s image, and so that we could know Him without sin. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and once they did that, it kept them from hanging out with God the way they did before sin entered their lives.
God gave us free will, but not all choices that we make are good. Not all choices lead us to holiness and righteousness. God lets us grow and at some point there will be judgment where God separates the sheep from the goats. That way God gets the best of the best of the best. Some choose to pursue relationship with God, others deal with the earth and their immediate circumstances. Some want no part of God at all.
Those who choose God are led by God to grow closer to Him and we will be a phenomenal creation when God is done with us. New worlds will be built and governments in creation, and as we come into His perfection we will be suited to do the work He has for us to do. Yield to the potter’s wheel so that that which is not of God can be discarded and we can be shaped into vessels useful for His kingdom.
Hebrews 12:19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
Not everyone wants to hear God speak. We want to hear from the Holy Spirit, to hear from Jesus the Gentle Shepherd, and yet there will be judgment. God will point out to us our wrong decisions.
Hebrews 12:20-24 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
We are in training to be sons and daughters of God, this is not just a 10 minute proposition. We are to rule and reign for eternity.
Pastor Don will continue this study in my next Hebrews post. I have to tell you, I will be sorry to see our study in Hebrews being over, but I know that the Word of God will have richness somewhere else as well. Hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.
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