Heb 12:12-13 Given the context, what does the author mean to “strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble”? See Is 35:3 from which he is quoting and its context in Is 35:4. What does he mean to “make straight paths for our feet”? See Prov 4:25-27 from which he quotes and cf. Heb 12:1-2. What was the “limb which is lame”? What was the danger to that lame limb of not walking in straight paths of righteousness? What was the hope for that lame limb of walking in straight paths? What do these verses indicate about the relationship between one’s spiritual and physical health?
Heb 12:14-17 What two things does the author exhort his readers to pursue in Heb 12:14? Note that “pursue” is the same word translated elsewhere as “persecute”, i.e., pursue with all diligence. What is the great importance of pursuing holiness with all diligence? See Heb 12:14; cf. 1 Pet 4:17-18. What is the connection between the pursuit of holiness the author is exhorting and the trials his readers were facing? See again the context of Heb 12:8-11, esp. Heb 12:10. With what three warnings does the author exhort his readers in Heb 12:15-16. What does it mean to “come short of the grace of God”? Contrast the true grace of God in Tit 2:11-14 for which people who do not pursue holiness are liable to fall short, with that described in Jude 1:4 which they mistake for true grace. Cf. Tit 1:16. What does the author mean by a “root of bitterness”? To whom does it refer? See Prov 5:3-4, Jer 23:14-17. What is the result of allowing such “bitter roots” to spring up? See Heb 12:15. What does this teach us about the importance of exercising proper church discipline, especially among leaders? Cf. 1 Tim 5:19-20. In light of the previous context of the better Mediator of a better covenant with better promises, what is the significance that the author in Heb 12:15 is quoting from Deut 29:18, the previous context of which was the curses that would overtake those who were unfaithful to their covenant obligations? See Deut 28-29, esp. Deut 29:1,9-10,12-28. What does it mean to be “godless” or “profane” (KJV)? Note: the word is most often translated by the NASB as “worldly”. In what way was Esau immoral? Did Esau consider his birthright as something worth dying for? See Gen 25:29-34. What one word in Heb 12:16 (mentioned above) best describes why Esau did not understand the seriousness of his irrevocable actions? By selling his birthright for a single meal what did Esau demonstrate that he loved more than God? See 1 Jn 2:15-17. What “right” of the firstborn was Esau prevented from receiving because he had earlier shirked his responsibilities as the firstborn and despised his birthright? See Heb 12:17, cf. Dt 21:17. What rights and responsibilities does Esau’s birthright typify for those who would come to the “church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” (Heb 12:23)? What “blessing” will those inherit who through their faith in the unseen do not (like Esau) shirk their responsibilities? See Rom 4:5-8, Gal 3:13-14. What other Old Testament figure found no place for repentance though he earnestly sought for it? See 1 Sam 15:25-26, 16:14.