Archive for the ‘Hebrews’ Category


Genesis 25:21-23,27-34 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger”… When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

This chapter tells us of the last years of Abraham’s life when he took another wife and had children with her and then decided to get right before God and gives Isaac his entire wealth and gives the children of his new wife, Keturah, gifts and sends them away.

Quite a let down from a righteous man such as Abraham but at his deathbed, both his sons Isaac and Ishmael are present together and they bury him in the same grave as his wife, Sarah. This is wonderful after years of animosity because of Abraham and Sarah’s poor choice in using Hagar as a surrogate mother.

Finally we read about Isaac and Rebekah’s twins who were born as an answer to prayer. Why do the people of God seem to have such tough situations in their lives compared to others one wonders?

Jacob, through whom was born the twelve sons who formed the twelve tribes of Israel, was not entitled to the birthright of being the one to lead Israel. He stole the birthright from his older brother Esau for a mere bowl of red lentil soup!

It is hard to imagine that Jesus, the son of God, was born of Abraham’s lineage which was full of broken men and women. All of these stories don’t show Jesus’ ancestry in good light and makes us wonder what God is speaking to us through it? (more…)


Hebrews 13:9-14
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

In those times, the tabernacle existed and sacrifices were still rampant. Hebrew Christians would follow the rituals while also following Christ’s teachings and therefore were corrected about it. Following the rituals and expectations of the temple was either to done to avoid being embarrassed about falling away from the faith of the land and the people or was done in the confusion of what was expected and not. A question begs to be answered here about sacrifices and Jesus. Why would those serving in the tabernacle not be able to eat of the sacrifices whereas those who follow Christ are partakers of His body and blood and also why is there condemnation in where He suffered in relation to our place in the temple? (more…)


Hebrews 12:2-6
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son”

I woke up this morning to a prayer request from a dear one who is in the process of selling her home to move to be with her husband and is facing serious challenges in terms of selling. They have been asked by potential home buyers to redo their roofing, sewerage and other fixes which will cost them over 10% of the value of the home. This is highly discouraging news and for one who has not put her trust in Jesus as her Lord and Savior, it is a point of no return because it seems like they are pushed against the wall and have no hope left in the world but in God alone. Why does God place us in such situations and where is God’s hand of blessing when we call out to Him for help? (more…)


Hebrews 11:1, 3, 32b-35, 39, 40
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see… By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible… I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection… These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Firstly, I recommend that you always read the entire chapter featured before you continue as it is vital to understand God’s message to us in its context. The word of God should be read as God’s word to us and not just the author’s because they have written it based on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our first and last source for spiritual direction is from the Bible and not man and therefore do not quote your preacher or a great Christian but quote the word of God. Today God reminds us about what the ancients were respected for, their faith. We live in the age of instant gratification and so living by faith is not even a concept understood. We want everything NOW and proof is naturally demanded for everything without a 2nd thought. Worse still, our desire is to seek God primarily for blessing, peace, health, prosperity, Christian friends, etc. Is that what God wants for us and what is God saying to us today? (more…)


Hebrews 10:32-39
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Yesterday I was convicted by the Lord of trying to seek wisdom from the world about Him when I had His word in my hands and His spirit in my heart directing me towards Him. My earnest prayer now is that I am remembered as a signpost for Christ directing people to Him rather than being a fountain of wisdom seeking people to glorify me and in the same way I learn to yearn for Christ from His word and be encouraged by His children, not the other way around. When I first encountered Jesus Christ, it was a momentous period of my life and I did not live for the pleasures of this world but to serve Him with my life. My goals and aspirations were centered on Him and all I wanted was more of Jesus in me at whatever the cost was. Where did I lose that yearning, how can I have it back and what is God saying to us today? (more…)


Hebrews 9:24-28
For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Sacrifice is a gory part of the old testament and I cannot imagine how horrid the sight must have been for many. I recently was asked by a dear friend who is Hindu about the need for blood sacrifices by God as the whole thought of blood and gore repelled her and I wish I had read this chapter before I responded. We know that Jesus was God’s own son who was sent into this world to live among us and die for us because the Bible tells us so time and time again. In fact the Jews who do not accept Jesus Christ as their messiah are still awaiting a messiah to come and establish them as God’s own people because of God’s promises in the old testament. What was the purpose of all the blood sacrifices and is Jesus’ blood sufficient to cover the sins of the whole world? (more…)


Hebrews 8:8-12
But God found something wrong with his people and said to them, “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new promise to Israel and Judah. It will not be like the promise that I made to their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of Egypt. They rejected that promise, so I ignored them, says the Lord. But this is the promise that I will make to Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my teachings inside them, and I will write those teachings on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will each person teach his neighbors or his relatives by saying, ‘Know the Lord.’ All of them from the least important to the most important will all know me because I will forgive their wickedness and I will no longer hold their sins against them.”

Being a Jew, it must be really hard to believe that the God who made them a promise would make a different promise. For those who are taught to revere Moses and their forefathers and worship the God of Moses, changing their belief from one written on stone to one that is unseen would be a real challenge. God the Father justifies the new covenant by the acts of the people who received the first covenant stating that because they rejected the promise and therefore ignored God word. How are we who are not Jews by birth affected by God’s new promise to the Jews? Is this all just for literary purpose?

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Hebrews 7:26-28
We need a chief priest who is holy, innocent, pure, set apart from sinners, and who has the highest position in heaven. We need a priest who doesn’t have to bring daily sacrifices as those chief priests did. First they brought sacrifices for their own sins, and then they brought sacrifices for the sins of the people. Jesus brought the sacrifice for the sins of the people once and for all when he sacrificed himself. Moses’ Teachings designated mortals as chief priests even though they had weaknesses. But God’s promise, which came after Moses’ Teachings, designated the Son who forever accomplished everything that God required.

Sometimes the word of God puts us in challenging positions in terms of understanding and applying what God speaks to us through it. Today’s chapter is one of those where the concept of priesthood is challenged because God puts the ultimate test to the role. Priests existed in the Bible from the time of Aaron and continues even today in different denominations of Christianity. They had a role of being the bridge between man and God as their lives were dedicated to serving God and interceding for man to God. They communicated with God, performed sacrifices to God and did everything required as intercessors. What then is God saying to us through this passage and chapter and how does it apply to us? (more…)


Hebrews 6:17-20
God wouldn’t change his plan. He wanted to make this perfectly clear to those who would receive his promise, so he took an oath. God did this so that we would be encouraged. God cannot lie when he takes an oath or makes a promise. These two things can never be changed. Those of us who have taken refuge in him hold on to the confidence we have been given. We have this confidence as a sure and strong anchor for our lives. This confidence goes into the [holy] place behind the curtain where Jesus went before us on our behalf. He has become the chief priest forever in the way Melchizedek was a priest.

I’ve always wondered why courts around the world ask people to promise to speak the truth and then judge them based on what they speak. Someone or the other lies when in the paddock after taking an oath and therefore the exercise of making the person promise to tell the truth seems futile. Corruption and brokenness is a reality in our world and as much as we would like to deny its existence and live in a bubble, we cannot because the truth eventually comes out in the open and it is hard to deal with. People who make promises should be able to keep them and I for one am a failure in that area. I have made a billion promises and doubt that I managed to keep any but worse still is the fact that I don’t remember any that I have made. How can we then believe that God keeps promises He made and will continue to keep them? (more…)


Hebrews 5:7-10
During his life on earth, Jesus prayed to God, who could save him from death. He prayed and pleaded with loud crying and tears, and he was heard because of his devotion to God. Although Jesus was the Son of God, he learned to be obedient through his sufferings. After he had finished his work, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him. God appointed him chief priest in the way Melchizedek was a priest.

Is it not shocking and outrageous that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, would actually have to bow down, plead, cry and pray to His father? Why would God bow to himself if we are to consider the Father, Son and Holy Spirit one but in 3 different forms? This humility Jesus shows is a bit too hard for most of us to comprehend and if He was as powerful as to be called God himself, why would he need to plead and cry? Couldn’t He just command and change things to suit the situation like He did with the water into wine or the blind man to whom he gave sight? What does God mean by all this and what are we expected to do? (more…)