November 11th Hebrews 12
1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3: For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4: Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5: And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7: If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8: But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9: Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10: For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12: Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13: And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
The writer encourages the Hebrews to run the race that is set before them, looking unto Jesus. And they are to remember the persecution Christ faced in case they become weary in their suffering. So far they have not given their lives up for him. The sign of the Lords love for his sons is his chastening and scourging. The scourging of the Lord is the suffering which the Hebrews receive from the hand of a loving Father to bring them back under his authority and submission. He will scourge his sons (Israel) until they submit to his will. Natural fathers may punish us for their own pleasure but God punishes his sons for their own blessing. It is not pleasant to be chastened, but it is fruitful in the righteousness that is developed in the lives of those who realise why the chastening has come. (Needless to say the writer is speaking of Gods ancient people not the Church which is his body. Those under Grace receive no scourging because Christ has borne all their punishment for them.)
- What is the writer telling these Hebrews to do?
- How can Israels sons know that the Lord loves them?
- What are the scourgings of the Lord?