Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Hebrews 7-10
I’m going to still avoid Melchizedek today, mainly because it is just such a deep tunnel and we don’t really have time to cover all of it well. I may write an article on it eventually. Feel free to discuss in the comments though!
Hebrews 7:11-19 Okay, you know how yesterday I said we didn’t know who wrote this letter. After reading this word pretzel, I’m back in the Paul camp as to the author of this might be.
Hebrews 7:11 In most translations, we see the word “perfection”. The Greek word being used here is teleiosis and is more accurately translated as “reaching the goal”.
In this context the goal is being reconciled to YHWH. Keep in mind that the sacrifices were only able to atone for our sins and even then there was no sacrifice for intentional sins. Through Messiah, the perfect sacrifice is finally attained, with reconciliation available to all who repent and accept Messiah as their savior. However, at this point there are still many being addressed with this letter who felt they could achieve salvation through their own accord.
Hebrews 7:19 in my ESV says:
(for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
Let’s unpack this a bit. Does a Bible perfect anything? Are you made holy by owning a Bible? No. It is a book. It only does you good when you read it, believe it, and apply it to your life. Likewise, YHWH’s law being in existence in and of itself will not perfect us. We can only benefit from it when we study it and apply it to our lives. The “better” covenant we will see spoken of repeatedly through this book is defined in this book as well, as the act of YHWH putting His spirit within us to cause us to walk to obey it. Let’s read on and see this explained further in this letter.
Hebrews 8:8-11 – First of all, we see that the problem is not with YHWH’s covenant. Can YHWH make a faulty covenant? No. The problem is told to us in Hebrews 8:8, He finds fault in THEM (some translations even say “the people”). The people He made the covenant with.
8 For he finds fault with them when he says:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
And here we have the new covenant. And the reason some refer to this as a “renewed” covenant is because we do not have a new set of laws. The Father didn’t abolish or replace any of His laws. Instead, He simply changed the delivery system. Now, instead of just being written on stone, they are written on our hearts so that, when we are in the Spirit, we DESIRE to follow them.
The next statement in this passage about the first covenant being made obsolete is another word pretzel. Was the old covenant done away with? Well now the articles of that covenant are written on the hearts of anyone in the new covenant so it depends on how you look at it.
There is actually some interesting discussion on whether or not we are fully in the new covenant in our time. The reasoning is as follows:
- Does everyone know YHWH, least to the greatest (Hebrews 8:11)?
- Is there no longer a need for anyone to teach that we should know the Father because they know Him already?
We’ve been told repeatedly in the Bible (the author is just quoting Jeremiah here) that these are elements of the New Covenant and yet we can clearly see that we do not live in those times right now. Just something to think on. What do I think? Well I’m glad you didn’t ask, ? because what I think doesn’t matter a single drop. But I’ll tell ya anyway since we’re just thinking this out. I think it is coming to fruition in phases but won’t be fully in place until the Messiah returns.
I’ve seen a great awakening just in my lifetime of people feeling a strong spirit led desire to know Him and to obey his commandments. Just think of that desire that rose up within you to read His word. That feeling that something was missing. That hunger that you felt so strongly that had you desperately seeking out the one sustenance that could satiate your very soul. It is definitely something to think about and examine as we begin our reading again.
Either way you go with that, we should be careful not to fall into the errant thinking that the Father has, in any way, broken His covenants with Israel or that Israel is no longer in covenant with the Father. The Father is a covenant keeper and He has made many covenants with the house of Israel. They are still His chosen people and will be so eternally and it is only through being grafted into that tree that we are allowed to be in covenant with Him. So rather than try to scoot them off the bench at the dinner table, we should be thankful that we are able to sit next to them.
This is also reiterated in Hebrews chapter 10. He will put His laws in our hearts and our minds. Those in this new covenant will have His law within us so that we seek to follow Him, to obey Him. We will see the blessing within that and it will be our desire to obey His law, not to exempt ourselves from it. That is the equivalent of us being told not to touch the hot stove and then standing there with our bare hand firmly in place on top of a hot stove eye and bragging about leaving it there as if it is a good thing, while the stove sears away. There is very little difference on a spiritual level when we openly live in defiance of God, rejecting what is good and embracing what is evil.
For goodness sake, lets us drink deeply of His wisdom and walk in HIS WAYS instead. Forsaking Him is ultimately forsaking ourselves.
It is interesting to think about that covenant today.
Hebrews 10:26-29 helps us ensure that our map is oriented correctly when it comes to how we view the commandments, just in case we got twisted around a bit during this reading:
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:26-29
That’s pretty straightforward.
Hebrews 10:19-24 OH HOW I LOVE THESE VERSES! They stir my soul and get me excited to continue running this race with full energy and wholehearted zeal!
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works -Hebrews 10:19-25 (bold highlights are from me)
Hebrews 10:35-39 leaves us with an encouraging note that can easily become our battle cry:
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Let us cling to our confidence and go forth with endurance so that we know we will receive what is promised by our Father. We will not shrink back but be strengthened in Him, maintaining our steadfast faith in the King of all glory!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!