Hebrews 12 

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Call to Endurance

12 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurancethe race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus,[a] the source and perfecter[b] of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him[c] endured a cross and despised the shameand has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

Fatherly Discipline

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:

My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or faint when you are reproved by Him,
for the Lord disciplines the one He loves
and punishes every son He receives.[d]

Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all[e] receive[f]—then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness. 11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated[g] but healed instead.

Warning against Rejecting God’s Grace

14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. 15 Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. 16 And make sure that there isn’t any immoral or irreverent person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one meal. 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.

18 For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, 19 to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded: And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned![h] 21 The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am terrified and trembling.[i]22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering, 23 to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written[j] in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, 24 to Jesus (mediator of a new covenant), and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.

25 Make sure that you do not reject the One who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.[k] 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace.[l] By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 12:2Or us, looking to Jesus
  2. Hebrews 12:2Or the founder and completer
  3. Hebrews 12:2Or who instead of the joy lying before Him; that is, the joy of heaven
  4. Hebrews 12:6Pr 3:11-12
  5. Hebrews 12:8= Christians
  6. Hebrews 12:8Lit discipline, of which all have become participants
  7. Hebrews 12:13Or so that the lame will not be turned aside
  8. Hebrews 12:20Ex 19:12
  9. Hebrews 12:21Dt 9:19
  10. Hebrews 12:23Or registered
  11. Hebrews 12:26Hg 2:6
  12. Hebrews 12:28Or let us give thanks, or let us have grace

 

Isaiah 40

God’s People Comforted

40 “Comfort, comfort My people,”
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to[a] Jerusalem,
and announce to her
that her time of forced labor is over,
her iniquity has been pardoned,
and she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.”

A voice of one crying out:

Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness;
make a straight highway for our God in the desert.
Every valley will be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill will be leveled;
the uneven ground will become smooth
and the rough places, a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will appear,
and all humanity[b] together will see it,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
Another[c] said, “What should I cry out?”
“All humanity is grass,
and all its goodness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flowers fade
when the breath[d] of the Lord blows on them;[e]
indeed, the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.”

Zion, herald of good news,
go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, herald of good news,
raise your voice loudly.
Raise it, do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with strength,
and His power establishes His rule.
His reward is with Him,
and His gifts accompany Him.
11 He protects His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them in the fold of His garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains in a balance
and the hills in the scales?
13 Who has directed[f] the Spirit of the Lord,
or who gave Him His counsel?
14 Who did He consult with?
Who gave Him understanding
and taught Him the paths of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge
and showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered as a speck of dust in the scales;
He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not enough for fuel,
or its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him;
they are considered by Him
as nothingness and emptiness.

18 Who will you compare God with?
What likeness will you compare Him to?
19 To an idol?—something that a smelter casts,
and a metalworker plates with gold
and makes silver welds for it?
20 To one who shapes a pedestal,
choosing wood that does not rot?[g]
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not fall over.

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you
from the beginning?
Have you not considered
the foundations of the earth?
22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He reduces princes to nothing
and makes judges of the earth irrational.
24 They are barely planted, barely sown,
their stem hardly takes root in the ground
when He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble.

25 “Who will you compare Me to,
or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up[h] and see:
who created these?
He brings out the starry host by number;
He calls all of them by name.
Because of His great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit Speak to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:5 Lit flesh
  3. Isaiah 40:6 DSS, LXX, Vg read I
  4. Isaiah 40:7 Or wind, or Spirit
  5. Isaiah 40:7 Lit it
  6. Isaiah 40:13 Or measured, or comprehended
  7. Isaiah 40:20 Or who is too poor for such an offering, or who chooses mulberry wood as a votive gift; Hb obscure
  8. Isaiah 40:26 Lit Lift up your eyes on high