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A WILDERNESS EXAMPLE (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. In the previous section, the writer had just exhorted his readers to hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Heb. 3:6).
B. He now presents these Hebrew Christians with an example from their past, the children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness.
1. The text reveals many of the things the Israelites did and did not do.
a. They did not hear God’s voice (Heb. 3:7).
b. They hardened their hearts (Heb. 3:8, 15).
c. They tempted and proved God (Heb. 3:9).
d. They erred in their hearts (Heb. 3:10).
e. They did not know the Lord’s ways (Heb. 3:10).
f. They had evil hearts of unbelief (Heb. 3:12, 18-19).
g. They were hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13).
h. They provoked God (Heb. 3:16).
i. They sinned (Heb. 3:17).
2. The result was that they could not enter into the Lord’s rest (Heb. 3:11, 17-19).
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
3. Ways to protect oneself from apostasy and condemnation.
a. Hear the Lord’s voice (Heb. 3:7).
b. Hardened not your hearts (Heb. 3:8, 15).
c. Exhort one another daily (Heb. 3:13).
d. Hold the beginning of your confidence stedfast unto the end (Heb. 3:13).
e. NOTE: These things need to be done TODAY! (Heb. 3:7, 15).
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice…Whiles it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
4. Key Verse (Heb. 3:12)
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.
I. HEAR – HARDEN NOT (Heb. 3:7-9)
II. ERRED – ENTERED NOT (Heb. 3:10-11)
III. DEPART NOT – DIG IN (Heb. 3:12-14)
IV. HEAR – HARDEN NOT (Heb. 3:15)
V. BLOCKED – BELIEVED NOT (Heb. 3:16-19)
I. HEAR – HARDEN NOT (Heb. 3:7-9)
A. Hear (Heb. 3:7)
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
a. To day
1) Strong (4594): this day, now, that is, at present
2) Thayer: this very day
1) Strong (191): to hear :- give audience
2) Thayer: to hear, to attend to, consider what is or has been said, to understand, perceive the sense of what is said
1) Strong (5456): the idea of disclosure, a tone, an address, saying or language
2) Thayer: a voice, the sound of uttered words
a. This word points us to the preceding verse.
b. The writer had told his readers to hold fast and firm unto the end.
c. He now tells them “how” they can do this.
d. He begins with an exhortation from the Holy Spirit found in the OT.
3. As the Holy Ghost saith
a. This quote is taken from Psalm 95:7-11.
…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways; unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
1) The psalm is anonymous.
2) The Jews attribute the psalm to David.
3) The writer exhorts his readers to praise God and not do as Israel did in the wilderness.
b. NOTE: The writer of Hebrews attributes the words to the Holy Ghost.
1) Whatever the Scriptures teach, the Holy Ghost teaches.
2) Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
a) David (II Sam. 23:2)
The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
b) II Peter 1:20-21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
3) NOTE: There are really four things that could be said to be speaking: God, the Holy Spirit, David, and the scriptures. All of them are authoritative.
4. To day if ye will hear his voice
a. God is speaking to His people.
1) To Israel, he spake by Moses and the prophets.
2) To Christians, He speaks through His Son Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:2).
3) LESSON: If one refuses to hear the Scriptures, he is rejecting the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
b. We must “hear” what God has said.
1) Take heed “how” ye hear (Luke 8:18).
2) Take heed “what” ye hear (Mark 4:24).
3) Be swift to hear (James 1:19).
c. It is also important that we hear “to day.”
1) Now, at present, this very day
2) We have no promise of tomorrow.
a) James 4:14
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
b) II Corinthians 6:2b
…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
c) The passing of time without giving ear to God’s Word will cause the heart to harden.