God is speaking: If you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. That’s our challenge today. Our response to God today matters to the Lord. We often think about heaven as the place relationship with God plays out. The truth is that the kingdom of God is now…
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
The example of Israel hardening its heart in the desert is a warning used in Hebrews 3 to challenge all of us. God is speaking to us right now. If you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Don’t be cold and unbelieving when the voice of God calls to you.
A whole generation of Israel did not enter the promised land of God because of their unbelief. Their hardness of heart left them short of God’s blessing.
We fall short of God’s glory because we are sinners. We do not fall short of his grace, however, because of Jesus. We will enter the rest of God in heaven because of our faith in Jesus. He died in our place and rose again to defeat death. Eternal life is our future reward which was earned for us by Jesus.
There is more, though, at stake in our response to God than eternity. People make eternity out to be the only or the most important thing, yet Jesus taught us to pray ‘your kingdom come on earth.’ The kingdom of God is now, and the consequences of our decisions are measured in time and in eternity. The Israelites had an entire generation miss out on the promised land in time. There were consequences to their decisions.
What is God saying to you and me now? Are we listening to him and responding to his voice? Or are we hardening our hearts? Before you give the right answer, remember that our answer is spoken to God through our behaviour more than our words. What we do shows our hearts to God.
I’m feeling humble. Spirit of God, help me to have a soft heart for you and a willing spirit to follow you today…