The danger of reading the Bible one chapter at a time is that you can lose the overall message of what is being said.
And the overall message of Hebrews is to put your trust in the Lord, paying heed his voice.
As I mentioned in an earlier article, there were Jews that were tempted to turn their backs on Christ, and to go back to Judaism because of the persecution they were facing.
So from the very beginning of this letter, the author urges the people to heed the Lord’s voice. And when we say “Heed the Lord’s voice,” we’re talking about God in Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The writer of Hebrews spends the whole first chapter talking about how though God spoke through the prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus is the final word, testified to by God the Father and the Holy Spirit. As a result, we are to heed Jesus and not drift away from him (2:2-4).
And he gives us warning from the Holy Spirit in chapter 3 and 4,
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. (3:7-8, 15, 4:7).
Why? Because apart from Jesus, we will never find true rest. Rather we will be condemned for all eternity. (3:12, 16-19).
The author of Hebrews then warns us against having dull or lazy ears, and thus being immature. (5:11-6:3, 9-12)
All this leads to the climax in chapters 10-12. He says in chapter 10 that people who disregarded the word of God given to Moses were put to death. How much more should one who disregards Jesus? These people trample not only on what Jesus said concerning salvation, but all he did to accomplish it.
And so the writer warns, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
But then he encourages us, “Hang in there. Don’t turn back. For if you endure, if you will continue to trust God and heed his voice, you will be saved.”
Chapter 11 then goes into a whole list of people who did just that, some of whom who did so under great pressure, even to the point of death. And as we saw yesterday, God testified of them all, “These are the ones who please me.”
And so the writer concludes in chapter 12, “You see all these people who came before you. They trusted God. They heeded Jesus, the final word, the source and perfecter of our faith. Do the same. Consider Jesus and all he did for you on the cross. And when the Lord disciplines you by letting you go through trials, don’t get bitter or angry. Trust him. Believe that he truly wants your best.”
He then says to this tired, persecuted people.
Therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but healed instead. (12:13).
Finally, after more instruction and exhortation, he concludes with this word.
Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus — the great Shepherd of the sheep — through the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (13:20-21)
So, beloved people of God, whatever you may be going through, whatever trials or heartache, trust the Lord. Heed his voice. And you will find rest.