Day 08: Hebrews 3:12-19

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Hebrews 3:12-19 (NIV)

In today’s reading the writer of Hebrews describes what happened to Israel after coming out of Egypt.  The people of Israel were in the wilderness heading toward the Promised Land, and somewhere along the way they stopped believing God was really leading them.  They repeatedly accused Moses of tricking them into leaving Egypt for his own benefit.  They stopped believing God’s promises and instead began to believe a lie.  Instead of trusting God in the present, they spent most of their time either wishing they could go back to Egypt or complaining that they hadn’t reached their permanent dwelling place (this is what is meant by “God’s rest”).

The author of Hebrews knew that this same kind of unbelief was also a threat to the first century Christians to whom he wrote.  This is also the danger that faces us today. Once we stop believing in the God who called us, rescued us, and guides us, we will wander in the wilderness and never get anywhere.  The way to combat this is what today’s reading is all about.  To summarize, “Hold on to your initial confidence and encourage others to do the same.”

It is so easy to get caught up in dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, but our focus should be on encouraging each other today.  As you go through your day today, try to dwell in the present and watch for people around you who might need to be encouraged.

Justin Lewis, Facilities Director and Pastor to Young Adults

Brad Taylor