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 Previous Return to Hebrews Next 

A WILDERNESS EXAMPLE (3)

Hebrews 3:10-11

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

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.

 

C.  Outline:

 

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)

 

II.       ERRED – ENTERED NOT (Heb. 3:10-11)

 

A.  Erred (Heb. 3:10)

 

Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

 

 

1.    Definitions:

a.    Grieved

1)     Strong (4360):  to be vexed with something irksome; to feel indignant about

2)    Thayer:  to be wroth or displeased with, to loathe, to spew out, to be disgusted with

b.    Generation

1)     Strong (1074):  a generation

2)    Thayer:  a whole multitude of men living at some time

c.    Err

1)     Strong (4105):  cause to roam (from safety, or truth, or virtue)  :- go astray, deceive, err, seduce, wander, be out of the way

2)    Thayer:  to cause to stray, lead aside from the right way, to lead away from truth, to lead into error, to be led from the path of virtue, sin

d.   Heart

1)     Strong (2588):  …(figuratively) the thoughts and feelings of the mind

2)    Thayer:  the center or seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence

e.    Known

1)     Strong (1097):  to know

2)    Thayer:  to learn, come to know, get a knowledge of, perceive, understand, to become acquainted with

f.    Ways

1)     Strong (3598):  a road…figuratively a mode or means

2)    Thayer:  a way…metaphorically a course of conduct, a way (i.e., manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding

2.    Comments:

a.    “It is not that God was simply ‘displeased’ with Israel’s rebellion.  Rather, He abhorred it, and in His anger He ‘spewed them out’ and refused to grant them entrance into the Promised Land” (Wacaster, 119)

b.    In this passage, we see some things that are in separately linked together:

1)     The heart and man’s actions

2)    Faithfulness and knowledge:  Those who ‘err’ are those who do not know the ways of God (Hosea 4:6).

 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:  because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest unto me:  seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

 

c.    While Israel wandered in the wilderness, it was the wanderings of the hearts of God’s people that so grieved God.

 

B.   Entered not (Heb. 3:11)

 

So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.

 

1.    Definitions

a.    Sware

1)     Strong (3660):  To sware, that is, take (or declare on) oath

2)    Thayer:  to sware, to affirm, promise, threaten, with an oath

b.    Wrath

1)     Strong (3709):  properly desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), that is, by (analogy) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence)

2)    Thayer:  anger, movement or agitation of the soul, anger exhibited in punishment

c.    Enter

1)     Strong (1525):  enter, come into

2)    Thayer:  enter, of entrance into

d.   Rest

1)     Strong (2663):  reposing down

2)    Thayer:  a resting place

2.    Comments

a.    When God swears, there is a strong affirmation of His set purpose.

b.    God prohibited the nation of Israel from entering into the Promised Land.

1)     Numbers 14:23

2)    The first time that anyone refers to Canaan as a rest for Israel was in Psalm 95:11

c.    Lessons

1)     The children of Israel were children of God and failed to enter into the Promised Land.  Thus, it is possible for a child of God to so sin as to be lost.

2)    Children of God can still sin and lose their rest in the hereafter (II Thess. 1:7-9).