Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20101201.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part IV: Holding Fast Our Confidence In Christ, Hebrews 3:6b-4:16
A. The Catastrophe Of Failing To Trust And Obey Christ In Living
Lesson: Failure to trust and thus to heed God not only brings a loss of rich blessing in our walk, but His severest discipline in our experience, even premature death! (Hebrews 12:28-29; 1 John 5:16)
- When God calls us believers to trust Him for blessing in living (Hebrews 10:38), we may view this call as an option, something beneficial to heed, but merely lacking in some benefits if we fail to heed it.
- Nothing could be further from the truth! Not trusting God leads not only to a loss of blessing, but His severe discipline that can involve a premature loss of life, a truth revealed in Hebrews 3:6b-19 as follows:
- The Catastrophe Of Failing To Trust And Obey Christ In Living, Hebrews 3:6b-19.
- The recipients of the Epistle to the Hebrews were being lured by a Hebrew sect, likely a desert cult, that exalted the era of Israel's wilderness travels under Moses' leadership, Bible Know. Com., N. T. , p. 783.
- Thus, the author of Hebrews urged his readers to keep walking with Christ versus returning to Judaism, explaining the Hebrews 3:6b ESV call to "hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope."
- Lest his readers not view as serious God's call to hold fast their confidence in Christ, the author gave a warning not only of a loss of blessing, but of God's severest discipline for failure here, Heb rews 3:7-19:
- Citing Psalm 95:7-11 in Hebrews 3:7b-11, the writer of Hebrews repeated the theme of the psalmist when Israel was already in the land, that she continue to heed God's voice in His Word or suffer the loss of God's "rest" of gaining possession of the Promised Land through dying in the wilderness that was suffered in divine punishment by the generation of Hebrews under Moses in the wilderness!
- Thus, the writer of Hebrews wanted to warn Christian readers just as the psalmist warned Hebrews in the land after the era of Moses that, regardless of the generation of believers or the dispensation involved, failure to trust and obey God in the believer's life is met with great loss in one's experience.
- If we recall the specific failures of the people of Israel in the wilderness, we find pointed application even to challenges of faith in God and His Word that we face in our era (as follows), Hebrews 3:8-11:
- The Hebrew forefathers who came out of Egypt failed to trust the Lord on ten different occasions, Heb. 3:8-9 with Numbers 14:22: (1) They failed to trust God to deliver them at the Red Sea, Ex. 14:11-12. (2) They failed to trust God to provide when they encountered bitter water at Marah, Ex. 15:23-24. (3) They failed to trust God to provide food in the wilderness, Ex. 16:2. (4) They failed to trust God would keep providing manna, and hoarded some of it until it bred worms and stank, Ex. 16:20. (5) They failed to trust the manna gathered the day before the Sabbath would stay edible overnight as God had said so that they did not find any manna on the Sabbath Day, and so went hungry, Ex. 16:27. (6) They failed to trust that God would provide water at Rephidim, Ex. 17:1-3. (7) They failed to trust that God was still leading them when Moses delayed to come down from Mount Sinai, Ex. 32:7. (8) They failed to trust God about some issue not specified in the text in Numbers 11:1. (9) They failed to be content with God's manna, lusting instead for the food of Egypt, Num. 11:4, and (10) they failed at Kadesh-barnea to trust God would give them victory over the Canaanite giants, the Anakim, Num. 13:31-14:1. (Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, 1978, ftn. to Num. 14:22)
- Thus, God condemned that generation to fail to enter their "rest" of acquiring possession of Canaan, but instead to die prematurely in the wilderness, Hebrews 3:10-11; Numbers 14:28-29.
- The author of Hebrews then applied this historical lesson to his readers: they were also to avoid similar unbelief in departing from following Christ in going back into a Hebrew cult lest they also not only lose out on the blessings of walking in fellowship with Christ, the Christian's "rest", but also be similarly severely judged by God, even with premature death, Hebrews 3:12 with 12:28-29.
- These readers were to exhort one another while there was time in God's mercy to decide to stick to a life of faith in Him much as was the same burden of the psalmist in Psalm 95:7b, Hebrews 3:13-19.
Application: May we view God's call to trust and obey Him as being critically important in our walk!