Friday, August 30, 2013

Hebrews 12:14-29 -- Mt. Sinai versus Mt. Zion

LINK: Hebrews 12

BACKGROUND

As we run the race, the writer explains the goal:


1) Peace with everyone
2) Holiness before the Lord


With this, no bitterness was to spring up (Deuteronomy 29:18). All the Old Testament witnesses were contrasted with Esau, an Old Testament person who sold his inheritance rights as an oldest son for a bowl of stew. (Genesis 25:29-34:27:36). Likewise, the Hebrews were not to submit to transitory pleasures but to fix their eyes on their inheritance. 


The conclusion of this chapter contrasts Mt. Sinai, where God gave the Old Covenant (Exodus 19:9-23; Deuteronomy 9:8-19), with Mt. Zion:
But rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn (the redeemed, Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 21:27) who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect (10:14; 11:40), And to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance]. (12:22-24 AMP with added cross-references)
This is awesome! This New Covenant was much better than the Old and will shake the earth and the heavens (Haggai 2:6). Then, we will be in eternity with Him. 


His final admonition is that they see to it that they not refuse God (12:25), but respond in thanksgiving and praise (12:28)! The next chapter could be seen as ways to expand upon how we can respond in thanksgiving and praise.


APPLICATION
What shall we do as we live in a shaking world? Listen to God speak and obey Him. Receive grace day by day to serve Him “with reverence and godly fear.” Do not be distracted or frightened by the tremendous changes going on around you. Keep running the race with endurance. Keep looking to Jesus Christ. Remember that your Father loves you. And draw on God’s enabling grace.
While others are being frightened, you can be confident! (The Bible Exposition Commentary: Volume 2, Heb 12:14, p. 326)
 PRAYER


Lord, we want to fix our eyes on the eternal and unshakable kingdom rather than the temporary and shaking world around us. Help us to be diligent to focus on and listen to You. Amen. 
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