Do not Rebel Against the Voice of God/Word of God Part 1
Hebrews 3:7-9 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. KJV
The writer of Hebrews now desires to urge the Hebrew converts to Christ (as well as everyone of us converts to Christ) to be faithful to Him just as He was faithful to God the Father and to us. These next 5 verses here are taken from the Old Testament Scriptures in Psalm 95:7-11. The writer desires to see the Hebrew converts take heed or follow the advice of the words of the Psalmist seeing that they and we are the house of God by virtue of being 'in Christ', so he begins his exhortation with these words first, "Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice," (Hebrews 3:7) (KJV). The writer here is declaring the words of the Psalmist to be the very Word of God when he writes 'as the Holy Ghost saith', not as the Psalmist says, but the third (3) Person of the Trinity, that is, the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (as it is written), "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matthew 28:18-19) (KJV), for this is the One True God manifested in three (3) Persons, blessed Trinity. Note: "Do not try and understand it just trust and believe it." Today, meaning what ever time in human history, for with God 1 day is as 1,000 years, as it is written, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8) (KJV). The writer of Hebrews was writing these words for the Hebrew converts back then about 2,000 years ago, however, the Holy Spirit (who inspired the Psalmist and the writer of Hebrews) was writing these words for every sinner of every future day in human history and He was writing that the hearing should be obedient responding to the call of God by way of the grace of God. Hear is what Matthew Henry said of this verse, "What he counsels them to do - to give a speedy and present attention to the call of Christ. 'Hear His voice, assent to, approve of, and consider, what God in Christ speaks unto you; apply it to yourselves with suitable affections and endeavours, and set about it this very day, for tomorrow it may be too late.'"
Next the writer warns the Hebrew converts against rebelling against the Voice of God/Word of God sighting the example of the children of Israel in the wilderness with these words, "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:" (Hebrews 3:8) (KJV). The Israelites whom God had delivered out of bondage/slavery (literally as a people being kept in captivity for 400 years) by or through Moses began to murmur and complain against God, "And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:1-7) (KJV).
The English word 'harden' is translated by the Greek word sklērunō meaning to indurate, that is, (figuratively) render stubborn: - harden. Instead of showing great reverence and gratefulness to the Lord, they grumbled when it appeared they had no water in sight. This (mind you) is after they saw the Lord God Almighty part, peal, and pave a highway right down the middle of the Red Sea (a wall of water on each side standing straight up and still as if they were walking through a canyon with a mountain on each side of them) for them to walk through to the other side (escaping the Egyptian army that was coming to kill them all), yet they were afraid that God could not provide water for them wherever and whenever they needed it. The English word 'provocation' is translated by the Greek word parapikrasmos meaning irritation. Simply put God the Father was annoyed, aggravated, and agitated by the lack of respect for His Power and the lack of gratefulness for His deliverence. Here is what John Wesley said of this verse, "When Israel provoked Me by their strife and murmurings. In the day of temptation - When at the same time they tempted Me, by distrusting My power and goodness." The writer of Hebrews goes on to expound on the facts of their rebellion with these words, "When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years." (Hebrews 3:9) (KJV). Not only during their exodus from Egypt did the then Israelites see the manifested power and goodness of the Lord God to them, they witnessed His loving grace and miraculous power throughout their 40 years in the wilderness, yet they kept on tempting and testing God with their disobedience and rebellion. They kept on tempting and trying God to see how far they could go before He would smite them with some form of chastening.
The very fact of their wandering in the wilderness for 40 years was their ultimate chastisement, as it written, "And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still." (Numbers 14:26-38) (KJV). Here is what Albert Barnes had to say of this verse, "'As if they would have made an experiment how much it was possible for me to bear.' - Doddridge. The meaning is: 'they put my patience to a thorough trial.' That is, my miracles, or my interpositions in their behalf. They saw the wonders at the Red Sea, the descent on Mount Sinai, the supply of manna, etc., and yet while seeing those works they rebelled. Even while sinners look on the doings of God, and are surrounded by the proofs of His power and goodness, they rebel, and provoke Him to anger. Men sin when God is filling their houses with plenty; when He opens His hand daily to supply their wants; when they behold the manifestations of His goodness on the sea and on the land; and even in the midst of all the blessings of redemption, they provoke Him to wrath. The whole time during which they were passing from Egypt to the promised land. This may mean either that they saw His works forty years, or that they tempted Him forty years. The sense is not materially affected whichever interpretation is preferred."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…