Today, If You Hear His Voice

Hebrews 3

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Having read the first two chapters of Hebrews, we have seen the author building up this case for belief and hope in Jesus as the Son of God. Now in chapter 3, the author is trying to bring us back to an example that the readers would have been familiar with to help us understand the necessity of our faith. He calls back to Moses, the prophet who first heard the name of YHWH, delivered the Hebrews from enslavement in Israel and performed many signs and wonders in the midst of the Jews (Exodus 14:31). This Moses that the Hebrews are so familiar with, who brought the law that they hold in such reverence, was faithful in God’s house. However, his faithfulness was to testify of the Prophet to come (Deuteronomy 18:18, 19), namely Jesus.

By conjuring up this image of the Old Testament prophet, Moses, we are reminded of the rebellion of the Hebrew people after they were delivered from Egypt. In only a matter of years, the people hardened their hearts and they were filled with unbelief even though they had seen the signs of God in their own lifetimes. Can you imagine witnessing the parting of the Red Sea, the pillar of Cloud and Fire or the radiant face of Moses and yet still turn your back on the God who freed you from slavery? It doesn’t make sense to me at all. For some reason, the peoples’ hearts were hardened so that they couldn’t believe in God, even though they heard the voice of God.

Now this story isn’t just an example from the past, it is a story that represented the people to which this book is written. Many Jews believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the Messiah, but others refused to believe. Their hearts were hardened even though they saw all the signs and healings that Jesus performed. It is their unbelief that is their downfall.

I want to apply this story to today as well, while it is still called “today.” If I hear God’s voice, what will I do? Will I believe or will I harden my heart? I believe there are signs and works being performed today through the power of the Holy Spirit as it was promised by Jesus (John 14:12). If you don’t believe that there are still signs being performed to this day, ask a believer in your congregation if they have ever witnessed or performed a work through the Holy Spirit. More have than I think we realize.

The other part of hearing God’s voice today, is that the author of this book is re-presenting the words of God, the words of the Holy Spirit, words spoken Prophetically through David. This is the voice of God that you hear today. Encourage each other every day as long as it is called “today” (Hebrews 3:13). This should be your main takeaway from this passage. If you want to ensure that no one is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin so that they will enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 3:18), then tell someone the word of God today, while it is still called “today.” Speak the word of God in power, for there is certainly power in the word of God. We are given a message of hope that we can boast in (Hebrews 3:6). Pick up your phone and text a brother or sister in Christ and remind them of this hope. Get up and visit your brother and sister to tell them of this hope. If you believe in this hope, then let the whole world know and be a partner of Christ in his work of proclaiming the Kingdom of God (Hebrews 3:14).

-Nathaniel Johnson

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

  1. Who can I tell today about the hope that is found in Jesus?
  2. How often do I think about the hope that is found in Jesus?
  3. Ask a Christian, have you ever seen a sign or a work of the Holy Spirit?

HARD Hearts

Hebrews Chapter Three

Hebrews 3_15

Similar to chapter one, chapter three starts with Jesus being compared to someone else.  In chapter one, we saw Jesus being compared to both the angels and prophets.  The author raised Jesus above the angels and prophets.  In chapter three, the author compares Jesus to Moses.  Moses, above anyone else, was absolutely adored by the Jews.  He was the one, under God’s provision and guidance, who led Israel out of Egypt and delivered the law to them.  Moses is a central piece of the Old Testament.  The comparison between Moses and Jesus would have helped the Jewish Christians gain or keep their affection for Jesus.  Not only is Jesus compared to Moses, their hero, but Jesus’s given more glory than Moses by the author.

In verses three through six, we see a beautiful illustration by the author about a house.  There are four parts to this illustration: God built the house, Moses is the servant for the house, Jesus is the ruler of the house, and we are the house.  This illustration helps show how Jesus is counted more worthy than Moses.  We are God’s beloved creation.  Moses served the Israelites when he led them out of slavery and delivered the law to them.  He was a phenomenal help to them.  Christ is also a great help to us, but not only that, he is the ruler of us.

Verses seven and eight read, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness.’”  First thing I want to point out is that the Holy Spirit is talking.  In verses nine through eleven, the Holy Spirit talks in first person as well using pronouns me, my, and I.  It is interesting to see that the Holy Spirit is talking here and talks in the first person.  It is something to mull over.  What I want to highlight though is the focus to not harden your heart.  This is repeated in verse fifteen.  The author must be trying to make a strong point that we are to not harden our hearts.  The Israelites who Moses led out of Egypt hardened their hearts, and they rebelled against God when God continually provided for them.  It was because of their hardened hearts that they did not obey God, and they had unbelief.  This caused their generation to not enter the rest in the Promised Land.  The author of Hebrews is urging us to learn from the Israelites, as they hardened their hearts.  If we harden our hearts, then we too will not be able to enter God’s rest.

The chapter ends at an awkward break, as the talk about rest continues into chapter four.  Personally I don’t understand the purpose of the chapter break between chapters three and four.  It’s important to note that the chapter and verse breaks were not included in the original writing.  Therefore, the author of Hebrews did not intend for people to stop reading at this section.  Therefore, you should stick around for tomorrow, as we continue the talk on God’s rest.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Kyle McClain

%d bloggers like this: