Hebrews 12:17, “For ye know that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
Bitterness often leads to feelings of despair. The realization of a hopeless situation can be devastating and discouraging. Esau’s situation sounds so hopeless, and we pity him, in that he found no place of repentance. The word place is the word topos in the Greek language. We get our word topography from this root word. An analogy is being introduced in verse seventeen that will show us where we may find “a place of repentance” for removing our bitter root and receiving God’s blessings. The place of repentance must be a place of grace, for we saw already that the single cause of bitterness is failure to appropriate the grace of God. However, though the place of grace may be what we are desperately searching for, we may find ourselves at the wrong place for grace.
The wrong place to seek grace is found in the verses that follow our passage in Hebrews 12: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,” (Hebrews 12:18). The place being described in these verses is Mount Sinai. He is teaching us that grace is not found at Mount Sinai. What is the significance of this mountain? And why is it a place of no grace? Furthermore, why do so many people try to find a cure for their bitterness at their figurative Sinai?
Though Mount Sinai is important, it is not a place where we will find a place of grace for the sin of bitterness. Notice three truths about this mountain.
The rules for living were issued at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai was to become a significant place for Moses personally and for the children of Israel nationally. God met with Moses on the top of Sinai during two forty-day periods of instruction. It was on the peak of this mountain that the famous Ten Commandments were inscribed in stone by the very finger of God. They were rules for the children of Israel to follow and commandments not to broken. At this mountain Moses was given the guidelines for their behavior, but these rules were not to be put in place of their relationship. “Rules without relationship breeds rebellion. Rules with relationship breeds response.” Are you abiding by the rules, and still bitter? Focusing on obeying the rules will no more remove bitterness from the heart than driving the speed limit. Only God can remove bitterness as we appropriate His grace. ….continued tomorrow