We might think that we cannot relate to what it must have been like for Israel to be in exile. The reality is that James greets the church as a group of people who are in exile. We might think that this life is a waste because it does not measure up to what we want. We need to listen to James who is laying out for us that this life probably will not meet our expectations because it is not supposed to meet our expectations. So, why follow our God then if this life will not give us all that we think it should?
Timothy is facing a challenging time in the Ephesian church. People are bringing in teaching that is not pure or teaching that is not correct. So, what is the solution to this? What is Timothy to do in this whole process? How is Timothy to right this ship?
The leaders of the church should desire to rule their lives and the church by the Lord’s standard. If the Lord’s standard is perfection then how can we be qualified to lead if we are struggling sinners? If Timothy is serving a church that has struggles then how can Timothy ordain leaders? What qualifications should he look for in a leader? How do we know if we should aspire to hold leadership in a church?
We are exhorted to strive to enter the Sabbath rest of the Lord. Does this mean that we have to work really hard to please God? Was the problem with Israel that they just did not understand the gospel? Was it that they did not have Christ? Why would the letter to the Hebrews appeal to Israel when we are being exhorted through the words of this letter? What can we possibly learn from the Israelites that is relevant today?