The Book of Hebrews Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 3

Our next reading is Hebrews 3:13-19

v13: Today: This word relates back to what we read in Heb 3:7-8. The forefathers, in rebellion, hardened their hearts in the wilderness.  Today we need to daily encourage each other to hear and obey G-d, so that our hearts do not become hardened with sin. 

In the last days there are going to be signs and wonders in the heavens, and all of these are going to be prophetically defined (e.g. in Joel 2:31 it speaks of the sun turning dark and the moon red like blood. When we see this happening, we will know that the wrath of G-d is about to fall and that the rapture is imminent. This will be the final opportunity to confess Messiah and receive salvation before these things take place. However, for many this will be too late. the opportunity to repent is today). When we do not respond to G-d, day after day, our hearts become harder, and it becomes more and more difficult to respond correctly to Him. We are saying ‘no’ to G-d because we are saying ‘yes’ to sin. When we take hold of sin, and act according to it, it has adverse consequences for us. Sin causes our hearts to be primed and strengthened for deception, to the point where we do not see a need for G-d in our lives. 

v14: We have become partakers of Messiah: We have heard and responded obediently. 

  • Confidence: Assurance: Having assurance is foundational to our faith. 
  • (From) the beginning… to the end: From the beginning of our confession until the end we must hold it fast, firmly. 

v16: (They) heard: G-d was faithful to reveal to the people His truth, His will, and His expectations. They all knew and understood what G-d required of them. 

  • Rebelled: But they rebelled and, in their rebellion, provoked Him. G-d, because of who He is, had to place judgement on them. From this group, only Joshua and Caleb made it through to the Promised land. Many of the individuals that came out of Egypt did not do so primarily for the purpose of true redemption.  They came into the congregation for a different reason. In the exodus it was not just Pharaoh that sent the Hebrews forth. The Egyptians, themselves, also cast them out of Egypt. They did not want any of The Hebrews, who were still alive, to be there. Many of those who came out did not come out by Moses – meaning by the means of Moses/keeping the Passover – They did not want to worship G-d and were not in the group because of faithfulness.  Many were either forced out or did not like the sufferings they had to endure in Egypt. When they got into the wilderness they did not like the commandments of G-d.  They found out what G-d wanted them to do and said: “No thanks”. They heard His voice, but they rebelled against it. They wanted to live according to their own ways. 

v17: As New Testament people, reading Old Testament truths, we realise G-d’s faithfulness in warning us to not be like these people. Through the accounts of their rebellion, we can learn how to respond correctly to the Word of G-d and so not have to experience the judgement that fell upon them. 

v18: Swear: G-d made a promise. The unfaithful people died in the wilderness. It is only by faithfulness that we enter into G-d’s rest (His Kingdom). 

  • Those who did not obey: Can also be translated as those who were ‘faithless’. We are saved by faith, by grace, and are not saved by our obedience. However, if we say that we belong to G-d we will be obedient. Consistent disobedience gives evidence to the fact that we are not His faithful people, we have believed a false message and do not truly believe in G-d. Disobedience is evidence of faithlessness. 

v19: Unbelief: People are disobedient because of faithlessness. Faithlessness is when we know what we ought to do – G-d is speaking to us spiritually – but we say: “No” and rebel. This lack of faith, to do what G-d has asked us to, manifests itself in disobedience. A lack of obedience, always in disagreement with G-d and rejecting His will (because we want to do something else, our own wills) is evidence that we do not truly belong to Him. 

When we surrender, and say “Yes” to G-d, obedience is demonstrated. Having been saved, and having received the Holy Spirit, faith is going to work in our lives to produce obedience. 

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