Journal Heb 8 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Behold, the days are coming”, declares the Lord, “when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me (from the least to the greatest). For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Heb 8:8b-12, cited from Jer 31:31-34
Observation: Part of the Gospel to remember is that God himself, the Triune God, is the confirming agent of the New Covenant. Man has exactly zero part to play in confirmation; Man accepts in faith God’s contract with Man.
If it weren’t stated clearly that God loves Man, it would be evident that He got the crummy part of the deal…
Analysis: If I were to create a study guide for new disciples, I think I would put the Book of Hebrews in the top 3 to 5 to commit to study deeply.
For sure, it is not a book to skim through.
Not only is Hebrews descriptive of the parallels between the Old and New Covenants, where Jesus is the High Priest for us, and the Lamb of Sacrifice (propitiation) solving the issue/atonement of sin, it also describes how God the Father is going to make Himself a people of his own choosing.
His choice; His Sovereignty. His election.
If the Triune God is going to put his laws in minds and hearts, by his own covenantal volition, how in His Name is he going to do that?
If I needed something to meditate on for—I don’t know, a month or so—could I come up with some answers or examples through the Word? And would I ever be quite finished with thinking/meditating/studying that?
Probably not. Scratch that: definitely not.
Another thing: take, “And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord’…” If God is going to put his laws in my mind and heart, why would they need to be taught? Perhaps this is one of those epistle references that speak to “missions”—but then it isn’t just the neighbor but also the brothers (from the Greek: fellow believer). Why? Because of two constants:
- Like Israel, we forget. See Ps 78:
o “…that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep his commandments and that they should not be like their fathers (a stubborn and rebellious generation), a generation whose heart was not steadfast and whose spirit was not faithful to God.” (Ps 78:6-8)
- Encourage/exhort one another. Look for evidence of Grace in others and tell them! See Heb 3 again:
o “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the Living God. But exhort/encourage one another every day (as long as it is called today) that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:12-13)
So, it is Human Responsibility that drives pursuing God. Man is responsible to make effort to know Him as He presents Himself sovereignly to be known.
Scariest verse (in my opinion) in the Bible: “…Begone! I never knew (from the Greek: am familiar with) you.” (Matt 7:23) I think about this: Jesus isn’t familiar with me, and why is that?
Because I am not pursuing him?
Prayer: Father, O Holy Spirit, please do not let me get comfortable in my life and ignore You; your Presence, your Ways, and your Works. Let your Word be sweetness to me and my meditation all my days.
Help me be patient with the calling you have called me to, O God. Let it be joy and peace to me.
Ricky Two Shoes