Reading for Monday, July 23: Hebrews 3
In chapter 3, the Hebrew writer draws us in by acknowledging our shared calling, a “heavenly calling”. Moses was called by a burning bush on Mt. Horeb (Exodus 3); but in these “last days”, God is speaking to us through His Son who is seated at the right hand (Heb. 1:3). “Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses…” (v3). He notes the faithfulness of Jesus with a present participle in v2, which should be translated “who IS faithful to him who appointed him.” The contrast is between Moses’ past faithfulness and Christ’s present tense faithfulness to the call of God. In v5, Moses’ faithfulness is equated with that of a servant, “but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son,” (v6). And this house is constituted by His followers: “And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”
But the parallels between Jesus and Moses do not end here. For Moses was commissioned to lead the people through wilderness to the land of promise and rest. Jesus is tasked similarly to lead us faithfully to our Sabbath rest. Yet, the potential for falling away is as high for us as it was for Israel. “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God,” (v12). Unbelief is the self-imposed barrier to entering into God’s Sabbath rest. Rebellion, unfortunately, is always an option as we journey toward Canaan. But this word is a clarion call to batten down the hatches, to hunker down and endure by faith. “So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief,” (v19).
As the Hebrew writer will prove, faith is our most vital accessory as we pilgrim through wilderness together.