God’s Word of Faith
Hebrews 12:12-29: The imagery of Mount Sinai is contrasted with Mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem, where people come to Jesus who has arranged the new covenant between God and God’s people. The chapter concludes with words of encouragement and a reminder that God’s kingdom cannot be shaken.
Instructions and Warnings
12 Lift up your tired hands, then, and strengthen your trembling knees! 13 Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed.
14Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it. 15 Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison. 16 Let no one become immoral or unspiritual like Esau, who for a single meal sold his rights as the older son. 17 Afterward, you know, he wanted to receive his father’s blessing; but he was turned back, because he could not find any way to change what he had done, even though in tears he looked for it.
18 You have not come, as the people of Israel came, to what you can feel, to Mount Sinai with its blazing fire, the darkness and the gloom, the storm, 19the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of a voice. When the people heard the voice, they begged not to hear another word, 20 because they could not bear the order which said, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling and afraid!”
22Instead, you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, with its thousands of angels. 23You have come to the joyful gathering of God’s first-born, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, who is the judge of all people, and to the spirits of good people made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, who arranged the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that promises much better things than does the blood of Abel.
25 Be careful, then, and do not refuse to hear him who speaks. Those who refused to hear the one who gave the divine message on earth did not escape. How much less shall we escape, then, if we turn away from the one who speaks from heaven! 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven as well.” 27The words “once more” plainly show that the created things will be shaken and removed, so that the things that cannot be shaken will remain.
28Let us be thankful, then, because we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him, with reverence and awe; 29 because our God is indeed a destroying fire.
Today’s Key Verse: Hebrews 12:28b
Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him, with reverence and awe.
What instructions are given in verses 12-17? How do these instructions impact life within a community of faith? The “heavenly Jerusalem” is referred to as “the city of the living God” (verse 22), also referenced in an earlier reading (11:10, 16). It is the heavenly place where those who are faithful to God will be with God forever. Reread verses 22-24. How do you envision what is described here?
Lord God, thank you for calling me to be part of the joyful gathering of God’s people. You alone are worthy of praise and honor. May my worship be pleasing to you. Amen.
Ephesians 1:1-23: The apostle Paul describes spiritual blessings.