Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.
Hebrews 3 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Jesus Our High Priest
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today if you hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me,
And saw My works for forty years.
10 “Therefore I was angry with this generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they did not know My ways’;
11 As I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said,
“Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
The events that we read in the Old Testament scriptures are not without meaning because Christ has come. There was an Old Covenant under the law and we do live under the New Covenant of grace through Christ, but there is only one God and He is the God of both the old and the new. God did not change His mind about sin, rebellion and disobedience. Instead, through Christ, He offered a new and better way for us to overcome sin and to be obedient. The events of the Old Testament are there for us as examples of what we should and what we should not do. Those who failed to be faithful under the law remind us that Jesus is not only a better way, but as He says in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” He is the only way.
The text today warns us saying: Just as the Holy Spirit says,“Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, And saw My works for forty years. “Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’; As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” There are many today who claim to hear the voice of God and who claim that God has changed His mind about what is sin. They say and believe that God has aligned Himself with the culture and society; that immorality is no longer sin. They have hardened their hearts and gone astray. Jesus Himself, the one who initiated the covenant of grace through His sacrifice on the cross. In Matthew 7:21-23 says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” It is not enough just to call Him Lord. Jesus must be Lord. It is He that is the way, so we must follow His way. Jesus will not follow a new path that we determine based on the will and the whims of our culture. The text says: “Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’; As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” If God withheld His rest and His inheritance from those who rebelled in the wilderness, how can we expect that He would not also withhold it from this generation today? In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus did not come to change the rules about what is sin. He came to change our hearts about obedience to Him. In John 14:15 He says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
The text says of those who rebelled in the wildreness: we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. In John 3:14-21 Jesus says: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” God has not changed His mind about sin. Through Christ He has offered us a way to be changed and redeemed from sin. “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; that You never change, but through the New Covenant of grace, by believing in Christ we are changed. Thank You that when I was unable to follow Your way, Jesus You are the way the truth and the life. Amen.