This is a chapter of exhortations, commands, and applications. It is a rather practical chapter in which the pastor exhorts us, the believers, to live a Christian life. In his own direct manner, the writer exhorts us to stimulate our Christian hope by enduring hardship and affliction. He begins by encouraging us to exercise perseverance, to look to Jesus, to struggle against sin, to submit to discipline, and to overcome weakness.
He encourages us to pursue peace and holiness and warns us against apostasy, immorality, and godlessness. Esau serves as an example, for as Isaac’s first-born he should have received the birthright with its spiritual implications. Instead he despised this right and consequently rejected God. Before he continues to write about the subject of apostasy, the author contrasts the fear and dread of the Israelites who received the law at Mount Sinai with the joy and perfection of believers who come to the city of God at Mount Zion.
Once again he exhorts us to listen to the voice of God. Failure to heed his Word results in punishment. As the Israelites who rejected God did not escape, so we who have God’s revelation through Jesus will not escape if we fall away.
Therefore, the writer says, we ought to live thankful lives because we are part of the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ. By living thankfully, we serve God in acceptable worship with deep respect and veneration.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 15: New Testament commentary : Exposition of Hebrews. Accompanying biblical text is author’s translation. New Testament Commentary (402). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.