Today, we conclude our study through the book of Hebrews. At some point in the future, I am sure the Lord will direct us back here. Starting tomorrow we will start a study in the book of Daniel. We will do a quick overture of the history that led to that point in Israel’s history as well as look at some of the main themes of the book of Daniel. I look forward to you joining me as we begin the study. But for right now, let us delve into the concluding chapter of Hebrews.
The final chapter of Hebrews touches on a point that we should be striving for, integrity, with the sub-points being moral integrity and spiritual integrity.
The first set of directives speaks of moral integrity. The author encourages us in three areas that are important in our lives as we walk with the Lord.
The first is with regard to strangers stating to “let brotherly love continue” and to remember those who are prisoners as if you are chained with them. Why should we do this? Well if you think about it, Christ in the gospels of Matthew and Mark, looked at everyone, not just His disciples as His brothers and sisters. He looked after them and cared for them. He made sure they had food when they were hungry after He had taught for an entire day (Matthew 14:13-20; Mark 6:30-44). Except for the disciples, all these folks were strangers to Him, yet He cared for them. So in essence, by continuing in brotherly love and remembering those who are mistreated as if we are just like them, we are emulating Christ, which is our goal as men and women of faith. Christ cared for those He didn’t know and He suffered as we do.
Next we see instruction with regard to premarital sex. Today’s world and behavior makes it extremely hard to keep the marriage bed pure. However, we need to remember when we do so we honor God. Tying in to the first point of moral integrity, we remember “brotherly love” by honoring our wives/husbands, thereby honoring God by saving the sharing of a bed with them until you are married. Again, it’s not easy, but is it better to yield to your flesh or yield to Him?
Finally, the last moral directive has to do with envy. That is what coveting means, wanting something someone else has. You are in envy of them. Why is this important? Well, ask yourself this question, has the Lord provided for all your needs? He has? Well then why do you need what someone else has? The Lord’s met your needs and provided for you. So what does it matter what the other person has? When you covet what someone else has, you are, for lack of a better way of putting it, telling God what He has done for you was not enough. This may sound harsh, but that is an ungrateful and selfish way to behave. Think on it like this, you make your children breakfast one day. You toil in the kitchen and you bring a delicious and wonderful home cooked meal to your family. Good right? Of course. But then they have a sleep over that night and the hosts take everyone out to a really nice restaurant or diner for breakfast. And then your children come home and ask the question, “Why don’t we go out to eat like they do?” How does that make you feel? God feels the same way when we covet something someone else has after He has provided for our needs.
Now we will segue into the idea of spiritual integrity. I have seen a lot of people in churches cause a church to splinter and sometimes fall apart because of one thing. A lack of recognition that those who are in leadership are chosen by God to be there. It’s not political manuveuring or nepotism that puts them in such places. God wants them there. And we always have to keep in mind, those who are minding the church and God’s flock, teaching, mentoring and caring for God’s flock, are just as unworthy of doing it as we, those being taught and cared for, are. They aren’t more spiritual than us and it’s not like they do more for Him than we do. A lot of times these individuals are exhausted from a day at work, but there are things that need to be taken care of, either for the people or the sanctuary. And these guys do it.
Look back at the chapters of Matthew and Mark from earlier. How tired do you think Jesus was after teaching all day to five thousand men? And if we want to be real on statistics, let’s figure half those men had wives, which means we add another 2,500 and then on top of that, figure in half of that had one child with them, another 1,250. So, for total numbers we have an estimated 8,750 people being taught. That’s a long way for a voice to carry for an entire day. Yes, Jesus was exhausted, there is no doubt of that in my mind, but yet He still took the time to make sure every single one of them was fed. Our church leaders are doing their best to emulate the Lord. Therefore, we need to keep our churches from splintering by gossping, talking trash or becoming embittered when they don’t do things the way we feel they should be done. The church does not belong to people, it belongs to God.
Thus concludes our study through the book of Hebrews. I pray it has blessed you as much as it did me. Until tomorrow when we begin the book of Daniel.