Ezekiel 23:28-49; Hebrews 10:24-39; Psalms 108:1-4; Proverbs 23:25-28
NT: “And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. For if we deliberately go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries… So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him. But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:24-27, 35-39 CSB)
Warren Wiersbe wrote this in his commentary on this passage out of Hebrews 10, “The believer who begins to drift from the Word (Heb. 2:1-4) will soon start to doubt the Word (Heb. 3:7-4:13). Soon, he will become dull toward the Word (Heb. 5:11-6:20) and become “lazy” in his spiritual life. This will result in despising the Word, which is the theme of this exhortation.” The sign of someone who despises the Word is continual and unrepentant deliberate sinning. The writer of Hebrews isn’t talking about someone who has had a bad day or has unwittingly done something wrong, but a person, in full knowledge of what is righteous and true, deciding to willingly sin and continue sinning. According to the author, that is akin to trampling on the Son of God and regarding His sacrifice and blood as common and unclean. If God was willing to bring judgement on those who willingly disobeyed God’s law, how much more willing is He to bring judgement on those who willingly cast Christ aside after experiencing His mercy and grace.
It is for that reason that the writer of Hebrews exhorts us as believers to not neglect gathering together and encouraging each other in the faith. One of the primary purposes in maintaining a regular gathering of the saints is so that each person in the faith can be provoked by one another to love, good works and faithfulness. When we isolate ourselves from other believers, which has become the habit of many in the past two years, we make ourselves highly susceptible to drifting from, doubting, and despising the Word and the life Christ has won for us.
Christ prophesied that as the end draws near, many will be drawn away from the faith (Matthew 24:10-13). As we see the end approaching, it is so important that we find ways to encourage and provoke one another and not allow ourselves to drift away. The writer of Hebrews quoted from Isaiah 26:20 and Habakkuk 2:3-4 to underline the fact that Christ is coming back one day, and the just are the ones that live by faith. Don’t throw away your confidence that comes by faith. Don’t be the ones that drift away and lose endurance. Instead be in the company of those who endure in faith until the end and are saved.
Psalms: “My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being. Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your faithful love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” (Psalms 108:1-4 CSB)
Psalm 108 is a compilation of various other psalms written by David. David was a man that was found in an act of willful sin against the word, will and ways of the Lord. But David did not continue in that sin. Once confronted, he quickly confessed and rapidly repented and experienced the forgiveness of God. He still had to bear the consequences of his sin, but his relationship with God was reconciled. It was through his experience of the mercy and grace of God, and his ongoing relationship with God, that David was able to say, “My heart is confident!” David did not allow his confidence to be thrown away – but instead humbled himself, repented and maintained his confident standing before God. So confident was he that he couldn’t wait to give God praise and honor… even waking up before the sun rose to sing songs of praises to His Lord. That is the kind of faithfulness God is looking for – and that is the kind of faithfulness we can have if we do not allow our confidence to be thrown away.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the role that other believers have in my life: to encourage me and provoke me to love, good works, and remaining in the faith. I also thank You that You have instilled in me a priority for regularly gathering with other believers and not allowing myself to become isolated. Continue using my spiritual family to provoke me towards godliness as I endeavor to endure in faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.