By the Hand or In the Heart
Heb. 8:8 God finds fault with them when he says:
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
Heb. 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
Heb. 8:10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Heb. 8:11 And they shall not teach one another
or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
Heb. 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
Here in Hebrews we read of the day of a new covenant and how things were changing. When the Israelites were led out of Egypt they had to be led by the hand. God went before them, day and night showing them the way in which they were to go. He had to lead them every step of the way. This is the same imagery of a parent helping a toddler to walk, taking them by the hand and helping them to walk and leading them in the ways that are safe.
The new covenant was to bring about something different for no longer would God need to lead the people by his hand. They were to grow up spiritually and in this process God would live in the hearts of his people. Just as a human grows up and no longer need a parent to lead them by the hand, but can, instead make their own decisions and walk in their own power and ability, so we are to grow up spiritually. Just as human parents try to instill in their children the skills and discernment necessary to live life so God has placed within us his law. It is written on our minds and in our hearts.
With his law in our minds and hearts we are to “know the Lord.” No longer do we need to be led by the hand, but we are to know the Lord in such an intimate way that we know his heart and desires and simply respond as his people.
While this is God’s plan for his people I’m afraid that there are too many who may still be wanting to be led by the hand. Unless we are willing to grow up spiritually and allow him to lead from our hearts we will continue to be spiritual toddlers. This is not God’s intent for his people, and yet, when we do not nurture the relationship with God we will remain as small children, going short distances and bumping into the things around us. Instead we are to grow up spiritually, being able to have a birds-eye view of what is happening around us and making decisions based on the Lord living within us.
Why are we resistant to this kind of growth? Is it easier to be a dependent toddler, not having to take total responsibility for our actions/behaviors? We are to grow up in our faith, no longer being led by the hand but having a heart filled with the Lord, knowing him with all of our being. In this way we will be led by a heart filled with desire for our Lord.
Lord, please fill my heart with your desires today. Amen.