Friday, January 13, 2006

Hebrews 3:12-19

I’m not a Bible scholar, as I have said in previous devotionals. But, I am a history buff. That is one of the side benefits to me of writing these devotionals. When a spiritual theme does not become immediately apparent, I look into the history, which is really fascinating to me, and I usually get spiritually charged.

Take the Book of Hebrews. When I first saw the passage I was thinking “Why do they call this Hebrews? Weren’t they all Hebrews at that time?” This particular book is named based upon what the intended audience believed, not where they lived. Interesting (at least to me it is). Looking at a study bible, I found out that the writer (Note: They believe it was Paul but there is no proof that it was Paul that wrote this book) was writing this for those particular Hebrews who were doubting their new Christian faith and were starting to return to traditional Hebrew ways and teachings.

In this passage, the writer reminds the reader that those who disobey God are punished. The writer does this using what the chosen audience knows best – references to the Old Testament. The writer is out to remind readers that Christ is above the Old Testament prophets. He is reminding them that with the death and resurrection of Christ, there is no turning back to the “old ways”.

This is no different than our lives a couple of thousand years later. Once we accept Christ, it is all too easy to shift into old habits. We rationalize our actions by telling ourselves that we go to church, we listen to the sermon and our spirituality is motivated to again rise above the everyday matters. But, then there is Monday morning. Back to the routine. How do we escape this and truly “continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou [God] prepared for us to walk in…”?

Well, friend, you are already on your way. You are reading a daily devotional. You’ve taken that step towards rising above the everyday. Congratulations!

Vicki Nelson

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