Thursday 13 January 2011

Bible Book:

"Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns us away from the living God." (v. 12)

Hebrews 3:7-14 Thursday 13 January 2011


Just as the author has used the Psalms before to remind hisreaders of God's relationship with people, so here he takes themback to more difficult part of that story. In passing, note that heassociates the Scripture with the Holy Spirit, suggesting that whenwe read God's word, we hear what the Spirit is saying to us...

The middle of Psalm 95 reminds God's people of theirwandering in the wilderness. It makes it clear that this wanderingwas because of their own disobedience or wilfulness. Because theirancestors turned their backs on God, they wandered for 40 years andwere prevented from entering into the Promised Land. They thoughtthey knew best and rebelled against God.

The author then warns the reader not to follow the example of theJews in the wilderness. He calls them to faithfulness in a livingGod. Rebellion and wilfulness can develop out of complacency. Wecan forget God and what God has done for us - religion becomes atradition or a duty or a chore. Our hearts are hardened and we turnto our own resources once again. The author wants us against suchdeceitfulness. This is sin - turning from the living God to relywholly upon ourselves.

It is a sobering call to faith and perseverance. Note that it is acall to persevere - that last verse raises the question of whetherwe will persevere to the end. Our pilgrimage journey with Jesus isnot about the first step, but rather persevering to the very endwhen we will arrive home with him.

To Ponder

How much have we rejected the idea of an angryGod? Does verse 10 sound too alien today? Do we have a faith whichallows God to be angry?

Entering into the Promised Land is referred to as'entering my rest' (v. 11). It provides a link the author will uselater to explore rest. In a busy world, reflect upon it as apromise for your own faithful journey.

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