What Do Money And Weapons Have In Common?

By Jason McConahy,

This past weekend we covered Hebrews 13:5-6, where we are called to "make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have…"

 

According to the text, the reason for why we can be content is because of two wonderful realities - (1) GOD WILL NEVER FORSAKE US, and (2) GOD IS OUR HELPER!  The author reminds us of these by quoting two passages from the Old Testament.  What is noteworthy, and somewhat surprising, about these Old Testament references is the context in which they appear.   

 

The reminder that God will never leave us or forsake us is from Deuteronomy 31:1-6.  This is when Israel is getting ready to enter the promised land, where they will have to conquer armies that are bigger and mightier than they.  Moses tells Israel to not be afraid as they get ready to head into the battle zone, and reminds them that God "will not fail you or forsake you." (vs. 6)

 

The reminder that God is our helper comes from Psalm 118.  In this Psalm, the writer is rejoicing in God's deliverance from unbeatable odds.  In vs. 7-11 he describes being "surrounded" by nations, and distressed by those who are his enemies.  Yet he confidently says "The Lord is with me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"  (vs. 6)

Both of these passages have the context of warfare.  The promises made concerning God's character are given to those who are facing their physical enemies.  So, here is the key question:  Why is the writer of Hebrews applying these same promises to the context of money and contentment? 

In battle, when outnumbered, one is tempted to call out for reinforcements, more troops, more chariots & horses, more weaponry.  Why?  Because those bring the force necessary to overpower the enemy and lead to victory and safety.  Yet, time and time again in the Old Testament, God said to His people that they didn't need more horses & chariots, more fighters, or more weaponry.  Why?  Because they had Him, and He would not forsake them!

So what is the connection between weapons and money?  The writer of Hebrews is implying something significant.  When in distressing situations, just like outnumbered warriors cry for weapons, you and I are tempted to cry for money!  We may not cry for money directly, but we cry out for those things that, at least in our culture, we assume money can buy - security, safety, comfort, reprieve, rest, stability, peace.

To the outnumbered Israelite army, and to the unemployed individual, God boldly promises "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."  To the surrounded Israelite warrior, and to family wondering how they will ever get ahead (or even get caught up), God reminds them "I am your helper, do not be afraid. What will man do to you?"

Once again, at the bottom of behavior (be content, do not love money), is a proper view of God, and of ourselves in relation to Him.  Thank you Hebrews, for helping us "fix our eyes on Jesus" and for calling us to a daily walk of trust (faith) in Him! 

More on the Topic of Sex

By Jason McConahy,

This weekend we looked at the second half of Hebrews 13:4, and sought to uphold a high view of the wonderful gift that God has given us in marital intimacy.  I wanted to point you to a few resources that will encourage you further in this area.  

First, a few years ago we did a series through the book of Song of Solomon.  You can find the audio for those sermons on our website here.  As married couples, this series will give you talking points and will encourage you to pursue God's highest and best for your marriage.  As singles, this series will help solidify a high view of what God intends for your future marriage.

Second, here is a blog post that I ran across a while ago that speaks to some of the points from this weekend's sermon that might provide further encouragement.

Further Thoughts on Why God Disciplines Us as His Children (Hebrews 12:3-13)

By Jason McConahy,

This weekend we covered Hebrews 12:3-13 in our worship gathering, and we tackled the difficult concept of the "discipline" that God brings into our lives as our loving, Heavenly Father.  While the word "discipline" refers to the entire training of a child, we tend to reduce its meaning to "punishment" based upon our earthly experiences - a conclusion that hinders us from seeing the beauty of this passage.  I suggested that while God may bring discipline (or training) into our lives as a result of sin, it is never to punish us for our sin, but rather as His loving and purposeful way of rooting sin out of us.  This is the emphasis of the text - "that we may share His holiness" (vs. 10).  How does this emphasis impact our understanding of this passage?  More importantly, how does this emphasis impact our view of God?  To stir some thinking, consider the difference between the following two options...

God brings discipline into our lives as punishment for sin

vs.

God brings discipline into our lives as training for holiness

What is the difference between these two emphases?

How do these two statements impact the way you view God (your Heavenly Father)?