Friday, February 21, 2014

Oh, and one more thing...Hebrews 13

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I don't know why I have been so reluctant to sit down and do the last Hebrews post.  I've enjoyed taking a close look at this book and have loved reviewing the logical progression of the themes (I have marked the word 'therefore' 19 times in my ESV) ...and been surprised by the warnings.  Yes, I knew they were there before, but, well,  maybe it's a reflection of the current state of things that the warnings to pay attention, to not harbor an unbelieving heart, to not neglect these great truths and go off searching for something that isn't there all really stood out to me as I studied through this time.

Suzanne wrote her post on chapter 13 last week, and I had to grin when I read her post because so many of the same things had occurred to me.  I wonder what the impetus was to finish the letter quickly so that chapter 13 becomes a list of things the author wanted to say before he had to send it off.   He includes one very short little logical discussion comparing Jesus' death outside the city to the disposal of the sacrificial animals  outside the city, but the rest of the chapter is a shotgun of last minute thoughts.

Let brotherly love contine
Be hospitable even to strangers
Remember those in prison (one little aside...not to say anything negative about the powerful prison ministries that are changing lives, but I really believe this is referencing those who are in prison because of their faith)
Keep marriage honorable and pure
Don't be greedy but be content with what you have
Don't be led away by strange teaching
Offer up a sacrifice of praise to God
Do good
Share what you have
Obey and submit to your leaders (and I think this is referencing those who are spiritual leaders, as they are described as 'keeping watch over your souls'); make their leadership easy and joyful

The benediction isn't  a prayer for peace, favor and is a prayer for God to equip the readers with everything needed to do his will, that God would work through us to do what pleases Him.

Which is a pretty good prayer to pray every day...

Lord, give to me whatever I need this day to do your will, and work through me that what pleases you is the thing that gets done.

That should pretty well shoot down my inclination to procrastinate...if I mean it when I pray it... :-)

Finally, as Suzanne also stated, there's some pretty powerful evidence here that the author is Paul in his relationship with Timothy...stating that Timothy has been released (so he was imprisoned somewhere for a time also), and our friend intends to travel with Timothy in the near future. But, Paul or not, this has been a treat and I'm thankful to Suzanne for providing the push to dig into it a bit this winter. 

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