Today’s passages reference the first generation of God’s chosen people led out of Egypt by Moses. Continually they rebelled and tested God rather than put they faith in Him. They refused to turn to God and instead kept a sinful, unbelieving, heart. If it could happen to the Jews who saw the miracle of being led out of Egypt, then it could happen to anyone. The author warns to Christians that sin is deceitful and works to harden our hearts. God is faithful and just and unyielding in requiring our obedience (for our own good).
12. Numbers 13 shows the “grasshopper mentality” that creeps into our lives when we don’t rely on God. When we focus on the vastness of the universe and the trials and tribulations that surround and we try to rely on our own strength and power alone we can quickly begin to see ourselves as nothing more than grasshoppers. But God never asks us to do anything on our own strength except bend a knee to Him.
13. a. v.15Heard His voice, hardened their hearts, rebelled 17 Sinned 18 disobeyed 19 unbelief, 17 God was he angry for forty years, their bodies fell in the desert 18 God denied them His rest 19 They were not able to enter the promised land.
b. I have and still do forget how jealous God is for my love and obedience. Obviously, this is a deserving jealousy and it is out of love for me. But, I can convince myself that God won’t care if I detour a little, if I commit a little sin, if I put my trust in my own abilities rather than His. But not of those are little things, they are all acts of disobedience and all take me int the wrong direction.
Hebrews is known to be a book of encouragement, and I believe that it is. However, with careful reading it also cuts deeply and convicts the practicing Christian (at least it is me).
Take verses 13 and 14: “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 we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”
How well do I do at encouraging other believers daily? DAILY? Other than BSF and possibly encouraging my wife and kids, I may go a month without specifically encouraging another believer. The way I try to live my life may be an encouragement, but I don’t know that I’m doing that much “sharing in Christ” daily. But that daily engagement is what God wants, not only with me and His word, not only with me and Him in prayer, but also with me and his church (other believers) in fellowship and sharing. How can I encourage someone if I don’t spend time with them and have fellowship with them.
This last point really struck home the importance of participation in BSF, not just doing the lesson, but showing up, sharing and hearing others, praying with and for each other. God knew it to be so important that He calls us to do it every single day.