A Degree In Hindsight
Loving God, may Your Word penetrate deep into my life today and keep me growing ever closer to You.
Read Hebrews 3:7-19
 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,  do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,  where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.  That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’  So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”  See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.  As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”  Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?  And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?  And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed?  So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat important admonition does the writer give here?
We continue with the story of Moses until the time when the Israelites were on the brink of entering the Promised Land of Canaan. They rebelled against God and refused to go any further because of the negative report of all but two (Joshua and Caleb) of those who were sent out to explore it (Num. 13,14). Their disobedience condemned them to 40 years of wilderness wandering. Instead of trusting in what God had promised them, their hearts were deceived and they turned away. We can learn as much from things that go wrong as we can from things that go right. The behavior of their ancestors so many centuries earlier is used as another warning to contemporary readers and to us–“See what happened to them? Don’t let it happen to you!” Disobedience always has consequences that may last a long time–sometimes for ourselves and sometimes for others, as well. So this reminder of our responsibility to and for each other (13) is timely. While salvation involves our own individual relationship with Christ, we can do a great deal to encourage each other to persevere in faith, also.
Are you “responsible” for anyone as a Christian? If so, do something this week to encourage them.
Lord Jesus, keep my life linked to Yours and help me to help others stay faithful to You.
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