Summary: From Hebrews 12 I offer these 4 warnings about not listening to the voice (call) of God.
CODE YELLOW ALERT
Warning about Refusing to Hear God
* As a parent, what did you do if, or maybe, when your children simply refused to listen to you. I dare say (right or wrong) that the majority of us had a progression of severity we went through to bring our child into line. Now, before being assaulted about this thing of “bringing a child into line,” it would serve us well to admit a couple of truths; first, children generally do not know what is best for them. The result is that they can put themselves into danger and not be aware of it. Next, the reason we desire to “bring our children into line” is not because we are God’s gift to children, yet parents ARE God’s gift to children. (and vice-versa) However, the tasks of all parents are multi-dimensional. But one thing is sure, to do their job as a parent requires that the children listen and hear.
* When our children do not hear, we have our own personal progression of discipline which we go through until they do hear. Perhaps you say, “Johnny, come here” and Johnny responds, then the case is closed. But what happens if Johnny doesn’t even act like you’ve spoken? Do you next speak more sternly, more forcibly, more loudly, and maybe you would end up shouting, “Johnny, I SAID, come here.” Candidly, we expect & even need our children to respond to our voice, if for no other reason, safety.
* It could be that you simply desired to give little Johnny a hug, a kiss, or take him and buy him an “ice-cream cone.” However, it could also be that you saw he was about to step in an ant bed, on a piece glass, or even a poisonous snake. The options are endless, but one constant remains in all these scenarios; if little Johnny had listen to you the first time, he would have the benefits of the one who love him. Whether that benefit is protection from something (I.E ants, glass, or snake) or the provision of something (I.E. hug, kiss, or ice-cream).
* By the way, for the parent (or grandparent), our hearts hurt when our little ones refuse to listen. In fact, with little Piper—I feel like I’ve failed her.
* We have taken an unusual long look at this relationship to get our minds to thinking about this thing of hearing, listening, and responding. I submit that while we are almost devastated when our little ones become stubborn and hard-headed that it is in this same way Jehovah God feels when we refuse to listen to Him.
* For instance, He calls our name and we just sit there—what do you imagine He’s thinking? Did they hear me? Are they hiding in the bushes like Adam and Eve? Or how about this; “Don’t they love me?”
* I contend that one of the reasons we listen so little to the call of God is because we all know that God is love and He won’t do anything to us.
* Having already read our text, allow me to lift 4 types of warning which the Bible gives to God’s born again children about refusing to hear Him.
1. A Pointed Warning – To illustrate this type of warning, let return to our parent illustration. Were we to give our kids (or grandkids) a pointed warning, it could be something like this; “If you do that again?” or “You do that again and.” It is a very specific warning about a very specific outcome if you don’t listen. In verse 25 it says, “If they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns from Heaven.” In the context of this verse, it seems to me that we are issued two warnings surrounding “Him who warned on earth.” In this context, the writer is comparing the Old and New Covenants so we begin by being reminded that an illustration of this “him” is Moses. If we pick up our reading in verse 14 and read to verse 24 we know that the Hebrew nation of the Exodus is center stage. They didn’t listen to the “him” on earth (Moses) and thus they were sentence to 40 years to wander in the wilderness. For the adults, this was a sentence of death. So they didn’t hear the warning Moses on earth and suffered the consequence but they also refused to hear & follow Jehovah God in heaven. Also, I find a parallel of Jesus being the “Him on earth.” Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God. For Him, bringing the gospel of light and life to all that they could repent and be a part of the Kingdom was so paramount that ultimately, He died for this cause. He left heaven, came to earth, and offered warning after warning which even till today has largely gone unheeded. Additionally, God in heaven stepped out of eternity into time simply to affirm the words of Jesus when He said, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.”