Never has there been a story that started with such promise but ended so tragically. Its details are rehearsed in Bible classes and pulpits every Sunday. It began with 60,000 men (plus women and children) marching by tribe carrying their deceased (Exodus 13:19) and riches from their former lives (Exodus 12:36). They were protected, guided, and fed, by God and they even sang a song of thanksgiving and praise (Exodus 15:1-21). However, their story ended in ruin, failure, and defeat. Although they had successfully ended over 400 years of slavery only two over 20 years old actually finished the journey. Perhaps it is an understatement, but they certainly did not finish well.
Using Israel as a model, the writer of Hebrews addressed a generation who were in danger of the same fate. They had been among the first to be granted entrance into the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13-14) but were headed down a path leading to disbelief and disobedience. It is for that reason that he wrote, “Since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1).
Hebrews 3:12-14 provides some assurance that any generation can finish well. He reminds them that finishing well includes at least three things. First, protect your heart (Hebrews 3:12). Second, help one another (3:13). Third, hold fast to what you already have (3:14).
What about your spiritual journey? Can you remember how and when it began? What have you done to ensure that you will finish well? What are you doing for others that will have a positive impact on the conclusion of their journey?
My challenge would for all of us to spend time this week mediating on the direction of our spiritual walk. Additionally, may we seek out and take advantage of opportunities to exhort our brethren that they may finish well.
– Wayne Jones