The Truth About Today

Last chapter we chatted about the lazy river of life, our propensity to drift, and the need for the anchor of Christ in our life. I especially loved the message of how we must “see Jesus” (Hebrews 2:9). Maranatha! I do see You, Jesus! We must choose to see Jesus – we must choose to fix our eyes on Him despite all the chaos and noise. The awesome truth is that Jesus came to earth fully human (and fully God) so that He could be merciful and faithful to you. Now, this week, it picks up with that same thought about how Jesus is our faithful High Priest by saying…

1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

-          This first verse contains a sacred echo for me. A sacred echo is when a repeat word or phrase keeps popping up. It’s a nudge that says, “Yo! Pay attention!” The Lord has something to say. For me, the sacred echo was this statement: Fix your thoughts on Jesus. Christ is continually whispering to me in my quiet time, at Bible study, while worshipping, and in prayer to fix my eyes on Him. He says, “Look at Me! Fix. Fasten. Focus.”

-          Go back and count how many times you read the word “faithful” in these six verses. {Go ahead, I’ve been practicing patience lately, so I’ll wait.} I counted four times, which probably should make us ask what the definition of faithful is since it’s referred to so frequently. Thankfully, I found it in Vine’s Expository Dictionary and here’s what it says: “to be trusted; reliable.” I love the idea of reliability. About two years ago, we bought a new washing machine. You know, the kind that can wash 15 pairs of jeans {Because, four boys.} Recently I bought another new washing machine because, uh, it broke. Haters. {Never fear, I bought a commercial grade the second time with a 10-year warranty. It’s relatively unattractive, but it shall not be shaken.} Reliable, solid, never-failing. I am glad we serve a God who has those untarnished characteristics.

-          The writer of Hebrews, who is unknown, continues to encourage and reinforce the Jewish Christians about how much better Christ is than Moses. The Hebrew people were questioning whether it was easier to just stick with the Mosaic Law versus risking arrest, punishment, or death for their faith in Christ. The author continually reiterates how they must keep the faith, stay the course, and remember that while Moses was a servant of the house, God was the builder of the house and appointed Jesus to reign over it all. Guys, Jesus is better. He’s better than whatever sin you’re wrestling with. He’s better than that addiction you’ve convinced yourself you’ll never break. He’s better than your self-medicated approach to numbing the pain of life. He’s better than that relationship, that job title, and that cookie. Whatever you’re up against is worth the fight because Jesus is better. It’s worth it.

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
8     do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”

-          In the previous verses, we talked about God being the builder of the house and Jesus being the overseer and ruler of the house. Now, these next several verses complete the Trinity by speaking of the Holy Spirit. Verses 7-11 are lifted from the Old Testament verses of Psalm 95:7-11 and oddly enough, this is the first Scripture I recall memorizing when I was young.

-          “Today, if you hear his voice…” There’s such urgency in the word today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not in five minutes…now. If you hear His voice now, listen! [Here’s a hint: He’s speaking to you through this study right now.} Remember we talked about the sacred echo earlier? Now, the question is this: What’s been your sacred echo recently? He’s speaking to you, beloved! Be divinely interrupted by Him in this moment.

-          We don’t need to recount the rebellion of the Israelites when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They drove Moses nearly crazy with all their murmuring and complaining. Yet, we have the propensity to be just like them. The Holy Spirit prods us to not be hardened by the Lord’s voice. To not drown out the words; but instead, to listen. To fix, fasten, and focus our lives on Him.

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

-          While we may want to skip over these verses because we’ve heard the story of the Israelites unbelief a million times, we’re reminded of Romans 15:4 which says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Note that it says “everything” that was written. Which means, these words you just read in verses 16-19 were written to teach you, build your endurance, and encourage you in your walk. So, listen up! Don’t harden your heart.

-          In verse 18 it tells us the Israelites were unable to “enter his rest” (meaning, the Promised Land). New Testament believers, pay special attention to why they were unable to be at peace – it was because of their unbelief. As David Guzik so eloquently put it, “…our belief centers on the superiority of Jesus Christ, the truth of who He is (fully God and fully man) and His atoning work for us as a faithful High Priest (as in Hebrews 2:17). When we trust these things, making them the food of our souls, we enter into God’s rest.”

-          I want not only eternal rest (which is found only through the Christ Jesus), but I want earthly rest, too. Of course, sin and brokenness still exist, but even amidst the pain of this world I can find rest in Him because I know He is in full control. Let’s rest in that Truth today and allow it to nourish our soul. Amen.