“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
This verse is transitionary, in the sense that the context is given in Hebrews about entering into the Rest of God, Hebrews 3:15, Hebrews 4. The rest of God we major in the fact we are entering, but it also rides upon the reputation of God that He gives the conditions for us to enter that place. The emphasis is about God bringing us into His Rest, as sure as He rested when He completed creation. It speaks to the power of God being more than able to do and to perform. When God was angry with His people because of their rebellions, and this verse addresses this rebellion, He was about to destroy the people. You can find the narrative in Numbers chapters 13 and 14. The rebellion is also highlighted at the Red Sea, we read this in Psalm 106, so now we have after 40 days, after all the signs and miracles, they still rebelled. Moses brings it to God’s attention that it is not just the rebellion which is the issue, but peoples round about would see the destruction of this rebellious people as God’s inability to bring them into the fulness of His promise.
Right now I see this perspective as a window for faith, for praying, because right now in this season as everything is so uncertain, we need some absolutes. The absolute in all of Scripture is the absolute truth that God is able. It is imperative on His ability that creation exists and we exist. Therefore if all exists on His constant ability therefore we must logically assume that He will bring us into fulness of His new creation and His new abode…the New Heaven and New Earth. This is birthing in our lives as sure as day follows night.
Today…Hebrews talks about a day that God is bringing which all is new, “Behold I make all things new”
Today spells opportunity given, opportunity taken, for God to change all things, as we embrace this understanding we shall see the Red Sea before us not as an obstacle but as an opportunity of faith to enter into God’s promise. We see God’s promises for our benefit, but they are not, they attest to prove God’s character before an unbelieving world.
“If you hear His Voice….”He is speaking indeed…
When God is doing something new, it means He is speaking. Look at the book of Revelation, we see Heaven, God, the angels, speaking, declaring, singing, worshipping as God is moving over His Creation. We need to ask Him to know what He is speaking over us. Jesus said that when Satan asked to sift Peter, Jesus was also speaking to His Father that Peter’s faith not fail. What Jesus is speaking to the Father is for the strength and the faith not to grow weary but that we know what He has prepared for us…as the Scripture says no eye has seen and no ear has heard what He has prepared…His voice continues to establish, to strengthen and to complete God’s plan for all. Those who seek for that Voice shall hear. Shall learn that it is not heard the normal way, it is heard as we grow in our understanding of Him and His ways. There is a condition…”IF”, we can have things that stop us hearing. Psalm 106 says that the people had no understanding of God’s plan, no understanding of God’s promises being worked out, promises made to Abraham many centuries earlier. As they did not have that understanding, saw their flight into Egypt merely as circumstantial and did not realise the significance they did not see the sea before them, the cloud behind them as a manifestation of God’s power, they murmured. How many of us today murmur when difficulties come, issues arise, health is shaken. God tells us to lift our rod over the difficulties because they do not show our faith, rather they show God’s power and give us a testimony. Not just what we speak of Him, but what He speaks and moves over us.
“Harden not your hearts…”Hardening of the heart is responding to God’s opportunity through the filter of trauma, unbelief and bitterness.
We must examine what the Children of Israel’s hearts were like. You study it out in Exodus, when difficulties came they murmured. When they saw victories they rejoiced, however they provoked God 10 times. It shows how our humanity, our inconsistent emotions can guide our faith and devotion to God. The transition from Egypt to Canaan, was not meant to be easy. It was about getting Egypt out of their hearts, and in Canaan was about getting giants out of their motivations. Our transitions are not just about acquiring, but letting go first. Jesus said “who loses his life for My sake will find it…” the logic of the Kingdom is the opposite of the world. Whilst the rich and entrepreneurial are esteemed, in heaven the angels esteem those who sacrificed much for God. Those who lost much acquired esteem in heaven. This causes us to look at the whole aspect of suffering in a different light. Suffering is the school of heaven…where we learn to go beyond our pain, our trauma, to exercise abilities we do not have, attitudes we demonstrate beyond the human ones, the love to those who hate, the generous to those who are selfish. There is coming a time when God will challenge our hearts not to depend on our senses and experiences to make attitude or decisions that will either include us in His rest our exclude us. The tragedy of Numbers 14 was to be forgiven but excluded. They were to die in the wilderness. I personally do not think we are much different as we see suffering as from the devil, as we see life as a means to acquire earthly goods. It is these attitudes that harden the heart.
This word is given today to say God is on the move, and we are invited to move with Him toward His rest. However for that we must first recognise that TODAY is His day, and we must HEAR Him and make our hearts able to transition to demonstrate that God is powerful and able to bring His people into His rest. His rest is His best, and is the fulness of love and joy. This heart of expectation and faith in God’s people proves God’s character to an unbelieving world.