Friday, January 18, 2008

Hebrews 3:12-19

In today’s reading the author of Hebrews reminds us of the story of the Israelites, wandering in the wilderness for forty years. This journey is often used as an example to us; the Israelites wandered, having chances to observe God’s works and His goodness, but they just didn’t see.

In a lot of ways we wander too. We have different struggles but like the Israelites we struggle with sin’s deceitfulness (v. 13). To deceive means “to play a trick,” and Jeremiah 17:9 says our hearts are deceitful. As our days go by we must keep “checking in” with God to stay close to Him, so our heart doesn’t play tricks on us. We may struggle with greed or anger.

The author of Hebrews has one suggestion. Encourage one another daily (v.13) he says, so sin won’t play tricks on you. I like the word encourage. We may disappoint each other, but “encourage” speaks to me of gentleness rather than bitter words, of kindness and listening, of lending a hand and of praying for our brothers and sisters.

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