HEBREWS 3:7-19 (NIV – UK)
Warning against unbelief
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
‘Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.” 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”’[Psalm 95:7-11].
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’ [Psalm 95:7,8].
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER DAILY
We are presented with the rebellion shown against God by the Israelites as they were tested in the wilderness (v. 7-11). They ‘tried’ God and their hearts went ‘astray’ so that they didn’t know God’s ways. This is to be a warning to us: ‘See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God’ (v. 12).
So how can we be sure our heart’s don’t go astray? How can we live out day-to-day lives with out hearts fixed on Jesus, knowing the ways of God? We are instructed: ‘Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness’ (v. 13). As Jesus’ followers, we all share in him – he is the one who must be at the centre of our very being.
What is being described here is a fully holistic and complete immersion in Jesus in community with our fellow Christians. When was the last time you spoke about Jesus with a brother or sister? Here in Hebrews we are instructed to encourage one another daily – to lead one another to Jesus daily – with Jesus at the top of our list of topics of conversation on a daily basis. When we encourage one another in this way, we will see radical transformation as our hearts are focused more intensely on Jesus.
Question: How often do you have a conversation about Jesus with a fellow Christian? Can you think of any opportunities you have to do this – perhaps over tea or coffee after church or in a home group?