The Glorious Company

I once read the story of a Navajo Indian who periodically left the reservation to see his banker. He was a rich old man, having made a lot of money in oil, and it was all in his bank. But he would come to the banker and say, “Money all gone, sheep all dead, cattle all stolen … More

Resources

In these few verses the writer encourages his readers to depend on the Lord as he urges them to look by faith in two directions:

  1. Look back - Here we see the bad example of Esau (vv. 16-17). Esau was a person who lived for the world and not for God. He came in from the field hungry and sold his birthright to Jacob for a share of the food which he was preparing. He was more concerned about money than in his own birthright, and so he  sold it to Jacob. (Sound familiar in today’s world?)  He was a congenial sort of fellow, a good hunter, and a man who loved his father. He would  have  made a fine neighbor, but he had no time for God. The story of Esau shows us that mistakes and sins often have lasting consequences (Gen. 25:29-34). Even repentance and forgiveness does not always eliminate sin’s consequences. How often do we make decisions based on what we want now, rather than on what we need in the long run?
  2. Look up - A contrast is made between the giving of the law at Mount Sinai and the blessings of the church in heavenly Mount Zion (vv. 18-24). Mount Sinai represents the Old Covenant of law while Mount Zion represents the New Covenant of grace.  What a contrast between how the people are terrified in their approach to God at Mount Sinai and their joyful approach at Mount Zion! What a difference Jesus makes!  Before Jesus came God often seemed threatening, but after He came and lived and died, the God who seemed very far and distant was brought near and the way opened to His presence.

Application

With the resources available to me through Christ there is no reason for me to fail. With all He has available to me, who can defeat me? I can’t depend on myself, but I can depend on Him.

Hebrews 12:16-24 (English Standard Version)

That no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear." But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »