Faithful As a Son
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 3:1-6, Isaiah 9:6-7, John 3:16-21, Romans 11:1-6
BY Yana Conner
One of my favorite songs to sing out loud to the Lord as a love song is “Who Would’ve Thought” by Donnie McClurkin and Marvin Winans. Not only does their good singing make me immediately want to get out of my seat and dance, but the lyrics send me swooning. In the song, McClurkin and Winans reflect on how their current relationship with God has surpassed anything they could’ve hoped for or imagined, belting out with joy, “Who would’ve thought I’d know [God] this way?”
I think this song resonates with me because my initial view of God was Him as a judge keeping a ledger of all my sin. A stuffy old guy with glasses hanging from the end of His nose, judging my every move. However, with time (and a lot of discipleship), this caricature of God was replaced with a better one—Father. I sincerely never thought it was possible to know God this way.
I imagine the Israelites never thought this kind of relationship with God was possible. Their real-life picture of God was Him in a tent, among them but also set apart and only accessible to a select group of people, the Levites. Though God was committed to them, there were limits surrounding their access to Him because of His holiness. They could only come so close, and even then, they needed a mediator and atoning sacrifice. To them, and rightly so, God was primarily the Holy One to be feared and revered with great honor.
But then Christ enters the story. He became the mediator and atoning sacrifice we all need to have direct relational access to God. Access that allows us to not only experience God as a holy judge, but also as a Father.
In today’s reading, the author of Hebrews invites his brothers and sisters, tempted to abandon their new relationship with God through Christ, to reconsider. He’s like, “sure, reverting to Judaism would potentially make your life better, allowing you to get your old job back and freeing you from the constant fear of losing your home or, worse, your lives. But, consider what you would be giving up—knowing God as Father! How can you turn back to your old way of being with God after coming to know Him this way?”
Hardship is a funny thing. It can cause a person to lose all of their sensibilities and reach out for any means of comfort before counting up the cost, forgetting who they are and to whom they belong. It can even cause them to consider giving up the best thing that has ever happened to them.
Been there? When we find ourselves in these moments, considering turning back to old ways for comfort and relief, we need to follow the author’s command and make Jesus the object of our consideration, not our circumstances. Only in considering what He has done for us will we find the strength to persevere. Only in remembering that He has brought us into God’s household as daughters will we not behave as orphans, seeking our own means of deliverance. Only in fixing our eyes on Jesus will we receive the rest that comes with being God’s children under His care.