Skip to main content

Hebrews 4:2

2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. Hebrews 4:2 (ESV)

 

Now, to give you a bit of background: the author of Hebrews (whomever he or she may be, though my old-school grammar will use he all the way through here) has been comparing the Exodus of the Israelites to what God has done for all of humanity through Christ.  The author is also contrasting our responses to the response of the Israelites.

What chapter 4 covers is that the Israelites were not able to enter the Promised Land because they lacked obedience.  If you're familiar with the Old Testament, you know that God brought the Israelites to the edge of the Promised Land, told them to check it out and go take it.  They checked it out, then decided it was too much trouble.  Essentially, they said "We'd rather go die in the desert."  So they did.

Something to notice about the Israelites then, and it's what the author of Hebrews is pointing out: they lacked faith, and so they failed to act.  It's not the failure of their actions that leads to the criticism, rather it's the failure of their faith, but the failing of faith leads to disobedience.

So, what about us?  We're not leaving Egypt, at least most of us.  Rather, we're trying to walk in obedience in the life we have now.  Guess what?  Our faith is shown by our obedience.  It's not shown by calmly sitting back and claiming we have faith.  It's shown by our obedience.

This is what the author is saying: the word of God is united in our hearts only when we obey Him in faith.  Have you partnered your faith with obedience?  Obedience to profess faith, to live faith, and to share the faith? 

And our faith, well, it's strengthened by our obedience.  It's a self-reinforcing cycle. 

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…