So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
God requires His people to exercise persistent faith, relying on His power to change them and keep them. In Hebrews 3, the author describes the disobedience of the Israelites in the wilderness who forgot God’s promises and hardened their hearts. The faith of the Israelites was tested in the desert and they failed the test. They grumbled and complained that God had led them into the wilderness. They looked back to Egypt, longing to return. God had told them that their inheritance was the Promised Land and that He would take them there, but their unbelief disqualified a whole generation from entering. In this passage in Hebrews, the writer warns the Jewish Christians, to whom this epistle is written, not to harden their hearts as their ancestors had.
This message is still relevant for us today. Has unbelief, doubt, and disobedience hardened your heart? As you wait on God to fulfill your dreams and to fulfill His promises to you, be sure to have a spiritual heart check-up to see if the promise is left unfilled because of your unbelief. The Israelites complained even though God had promised to bring them into the Promised Land. Are you complaining as you wait? Ask the Lord to reveal to you the source of your impatience and seek to trust His Word.
Forgive my unbelief. I have been waiting so long for a promise to be fulfilled. I have begun to complain and lose hope in my dream being fulfilled. Grow patience and trust in me and lead and strengthen me as I place my hope in You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen