Summary: We need discernment so that we can know when to let go of things of the past to enthusiastically seek the blessings God has in store for us in the present. Because of their clinging to the Temple the Chosen People of God missed out on the promised Messia
¡§Out With The Old -- In With The New¡¨
When we are confronted with all of the problems of the present, we are often tempted to reminisce about the days of old and how wonderful things were back then. If we experienced the ¡§good old days,¡¨ then the tendency to cling to the past and refuse to accept the new is sometimes overwhelming. I don¡¦t want anyone to misunderstand me and be led to believe that I approve of some of the trends going on in our society. I am concerned with the waywardness of our society, but I am just not convinced that the good old days were all that good in some ways. Clinging to the past can cause us to miss out on the good that God has planned for us. Let me give you a couple of examples of what I am talking about.
Were the good old days really all that good when it comes to the topic of transportation? I love horses. They are beautiful animals. Majestic and strong in their appearance. They are swift of foot and powerful of frame. With all of that said I would still rather get in my truck and drive to where I am going rather than saddle my horse.
How about when we come to the topic of cooking? Don¡¦t you just yearn for the days of chopping wood and having your whole house feel like a furnace? I know that there is a certain nostalgia attached to an iron pot hanging over a wood burning stove, but I will take a self-cleaning oven and a microwave any day.
I know many of you who are my age or older have been sitting in the August heat and yearning for the days of the water cooler to come back and visit us once again, but I have to be honest with you and say that I really like the air conditioner that Connie and I have now. Although, I do have to admit that I miss the constant roar of our old water cooler that filled our living room when I was young.
Let me just share one more modern convenience that makes me thankful that the old is gone and the new has come. I¡¦ve seen movies of the old days when the men went out to kill animals so that they could get hides for their family¡¦s clothes while the women spun yarn and sewed cloth into the night to help their kids acquire the latest fashions. There is something really appealing to me about Wal Mart right about now. I like being able to run in a store and pick up a shirt or a pair of jeans on my way home from work and the having the rest of the evening to hang out with my family.
We may want to cling to some things of long ago because they are beneficial for our lives and the betterment of our society. Things like the values of hard work, honesty, and chastity that we¡¦ve heard about from our grandparents, Sunday drives taken by families who were not hurrying to make it to the next soccer game or football meeting, evening meals shared together by everyone in the family, and the modesty of days gone by when Rob and Laura¡¦s sex life was not on display for all of the TV viewing audience to see.
There is something in each of us that wants to recapture these important aspects of the past, but the important question is, ¡§How do we know when to let go of the past so that we can enthusiastically look forward to what is to come?¡¨ That is a great question and not knowing the answer, not having the discernment to know when to let go, cost God¡¦s chosen people dearly as we will see in our study for today. Take a look with me at Hebrews 8:1-13 and we will begin our study for today.
1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. 3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ¡§See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.¡¨ 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. 7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said: ¡§The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. 10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ¡¥Know the Lord,¡¦ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.¡¨ 13 By calling this covenant ¡§new,¡¨ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:1-13 NIV)