Written to Jewish Christians, the book of Hebrews contains some deep theology and passages that are personally challenging. One passage that is a beautiful highlighting of history from the Jewish testament that leads into Christian responsibility is chapter 3, verses 7-13.
“Now this is the commandment–the statutes and the rules–that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it,
that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:1-5 ESV
So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever.
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
“Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
“Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.
“For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope.
“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours.
“Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You.
“O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You;
1 Chronicles 29:10-18 NASB
Sometimes, however, English translations have subtle differences from the original texts. Take for example a passage from Paul’s first letter to Timothy.
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 NLT
The Bible presents lists like this passage in 1 Timothy. My question when I read this was which part is “the list?” I see two possibilities and the difference may change what I focus on as I seek to follow Jesus.