What a provoking chapter in God's Word! The last verse really sums it up for me. "They could not enter in because of unbelief."
The Israelites could not enter into God's rest due to unbelief. In verse 9 it says "...saw my works for 40 years" and they still grieved the Lord and did not come to understand the Lord's ways.
It makes me think of how long I have seen the works of Lord in my life? How long have I been witness to and have been taught of His goodness, His mercy, His miraculous power, His endearing care, and love?
And, yet, the question arises, from time to time, DO I BELIEVE?
What??!! How can I even think such a thing? Have I been with the Lord this long and know Him not?
There comes a point where I just need to decide who the Lord is. Verse 10 says "...they have not known my ways." It is like knowing the pure nature of something.
What is the pure nature of God, that I "need to know?" Even more than just "know", but fully accept and fully believe that it will never change.
You see, at times, I compare God to my relationships with humans. Meaning, we know humans change their minds all the time so, therefore, Jesus is always changing, unreliable, inconsistent in His actions, motivations, etc.
But God is the exact opposite of these things.
He 100% unchanging, 100% reliable, and 100% consistent in His actions and motivations.
The Israelites struggled in the wilderness because through all the trials AND miracles they did not come to know the nature of God and that nature is pure, unconditional love. They thought they were always of the verge of dying, being forsaken, overtaken, destoryed, etc.
So many times we question an unchanging God when we face a trial or hardship in our life. So be rest assured, our unchanging God cares for you and loves you and wants to spend eternity with you and wants you to enter into His rest. How do I know this? Because His Word says so, and His Word is 100% reliable.
This is the nature of God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
The church is shown how Christ is above Moses
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
and warned against unbelief
7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
I am so glad the Lord gives opportunities to grow in Him. He has taught us how to listen, how to be sensitive to His feelings and how to enter in to worship. I am so thankful for the ministry of this church. Thanks to each one who has been ordained to this great work. You are such a blessing to me.
I look back at the Israelites in the wilderness and ask myself... how could they not believe after seeing the red sea, the cloud, the pillar of fire, the mana? How can unbelief even be a part of their life? Then I look at my own life and all that God has done for me.. so many good and wonderful things throughout the years... and yet there are times. Verse 6 talks to me."But Christ as a son over his own house; WHOSE HOUSE ARE WE, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end"... we have a chance at something much greater then ourselves.