Yesterday, the last thing we read was "'But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.' But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls." (Hebrews 10:38-39) Then today the first thing we read is the Israelites saying, "Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" (Numbers 14:3) Later in Numbers 14:43, Moses tells the Israelites "Because you have turned back from following the LORD, the LORD will not be with you." Do you think the writer of Hebrews knew Numbers 14 very well?
We have noted that Hebrews is warning the Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah to not return to the old covenant of the Law of Moses but to continue in faith in Christ Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, Paul says these events are examples for us, written for our instruction, "For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did." Jesus warned against turning back in Luke 9:62, "Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'"
I know warnings are essential for all children, but so is encouragement. So today after reading Numbers, Psalm, and Isaiah, I rejoiced when I got to Hebrews 11. As a believer, do you understand this chapter to be your family tree? You should because they are! Do you see yourself as a descendant of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah and the rest of those faithful in this passage? You should because you are!
My father had eleven siblings. When I was young, his family had a reunion every summer. I always looked forward to those annual gatherings because they were so much fun. The people, who I rarely saw, were so loving. It was not until I was older that I realized the reason I was so accepted was because of my father.
Can you imagine the family reunion with those mentioned in Hebrews 11? Our acceptance on that great day will be because of our Father.
Father, thank You for the encouragement of these men and women of faith. Thank You for the gift of faith You gave me when You included me in Your family. I am looking forward to Your family reunion. Jesus, it is only because of You this gathering will occur. I join my voice with my brothers and sisters and say, "Come, Lord Jesus come."