Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thoughts on Hebrews Study Questions from 7/23


My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I encourage you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider.  

Make yourself comfortable, this is most likely going to be a year-long experience.

These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on Wednesday of this week. 


Vv 1-13

What’s the difference in the rest in v4 and v5?
Initially v4 - Law of Duty; v5 - Law of Love
Then we went into an extended discussion. 
We found Psalms 95 and Ezekiel 22:26 insightful.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,[a]
    as you did that day at Massah[b] in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
    they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” [NIV]
Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored [profaned in most translations] among them. New Living Translation.

Eternal rest is a spiritual rest in heaven where we will find rest from fighting Satan.
Don't get bound to the idea of Sabbath rest as a lawful act. Rest on the Sabbath from "regular" activities to enjoy God's grace.
Grace is part of both.
The ultimate conclusion was that there is no difference in the Hebrews verses because the "rest" in v5 includes the "rest" in v4.

Why did some people not allowed to go into God’s rest?
Hard hearts. Sin. Disobedience. Rejecting/Not believing God.
After Joshua and Caleb's advice was rejected and Moses told the people about God's anger at their lack of trust, some Hebrews tried to conquer the Promised Land. THEY WERE CRUSHED by the Canaanites.
There are consequences for certain actions. Don't miss the fact that we must do what's right and what we know.

What’s the significance of Today
Today is all we have.
How long is Today
Our life on Earth. The moment we're living in. Here and now. Until Christ comes.
What are you not supposed to do Today? Why?
Ignore what God wants you to do because that leads to a hardened heart.

Read vv8-11. What is the author trying to say here?
These verses do not refer to a past experience only. They also refer to the present--starts TODAY--and the future. 
There is no guarantee of any more than today. It is possible to leave rest once you achieve it by disobedience.
If we don't rest weekly--like God did--we risk not getting to eternal rest.
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey!Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:26-32
Choosing to enter Canaan is analogous to accepting Christ.
Refusing to enter Canaan is analogous to rejecting Christ.

We stopped here this week. 
V12 lists a common use for a sword and an uncommon use. What sword does both?
Comment on v13. Go ahead. We’ll wait until you’re finished . . . 

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