Summary: Let us put our trust in the Lord, let us be obedient to His Word, and let us believe in His promises made possible through our belief in His Son.
Reading: Psalm 95
The theme of the book of Hebrews is the superiority of Christ and thus of Christianity. The words “better,” “perfect,” and “heavenly” appear frequently. This letter was written to formerly Jewish believers who were under going persecution for their belief in Jesus. The letter is one of exhortation and encouragement. In Chapter 3 we find the writer detailing the superiority of Jesus to Moses and providing a warning applicable to all believers. (Read Hebrews 3:1-6)
3:1: -Therefore…consider Jesus, that is, (continuing from Chapter 2) seeing we have such a sympathizing Helper you ought to “consider attentively,” “contemplate”; fix your eyes and mind on Him with a view to profiting by the contemplation.
-Jesus is the Apostle, meaning “the one sent from God to represent God to us” (John 5:24), and High Priest, meaning “the one who represents us to God.”
3:3: Christ is better than Moses because Christ is the builder of God’s house whereas Moses was but a servant in the house.
3:5-6: Christ as a Son and the one over the house is therefore superior to Moses, the servant and the one in the house.
3:6: we believers are now God’s house(hold), but to enjoy that position requires that we hold fast to our confidence and hope.
3:7-11: The quote is from Psalm 95:7-11. The children of Israel challenged God’s authority over them by their rebellion in the wilderness. Because of this, they failed to enter into the rest of dwelling in Canaan and they perished in the wilderness.
In the verses which follow, Israel’s sin is described as rebellion, sin, disobedience, and unbelief. Let’s go back and refresh our memories of this time.
I.The Error of Israel
A.The report of the spies. (Read Numbers 13:25-33)
1.The spies reported that the land was “certainly flowing with milk and honey.”
a.“Nevertheless” v28 - the seeds of distrust are sown.
b.10 of the twelve spies discount God’s plan and view the Promised Land through the eyes of man.
2.v30 – Caleb tries to remind them of whom they follow but his words are lost in the report of the other spies.
B.The reaction of the people. (Read Numbers 14:1-4)
1.Lack of trust. They ignore the statement from God that He had given the land to them; they just needed to take possession of their inheritance. They turn away from God’s chosen path for them, away from His promises
2.Turning back to Egypt. They lament the report of the 10 spies, claiming it would have been better to die in the wilderness, and begin actions to choose a new leader to return them to their former lives in Egypt. They turn from God and from His appointed leaders and back to their former slavery.
3.Read Numbers 14:5-10
C.The judgment of God
1.Moses intercedes with God, sparing the people His wrath (again.)
2.But for their disbelief and rebellion the generation is condemned to wander in the wilderness until dead. (Vs20-23)
[Psalm 95:7b-11 quoted as a warning. The writer of Hebrews now applies Israel’s experience to the dangers facing his readers…]
II.The Example For Us
1.He gives a proper caution; Take heed, look to it.
2.Essentially the writer says “Look about you; be on your guard against what kept your forefathers out of Canaan, and made them fall in the wilderness; take care so you do not fall into the same sin and dreadful sentence.”
3.The writer makes to point that Christ is head of the church, a much greater person than Moses, and contempt of him must be a greater sin than the Israelites contempt of Moses; and so you are in danger of falling under a more severe sentence.
4.Observe, Israel’s fall should for ever be a warning to all who come after them;
1 Corinthians 10:11 “Now these things happened to them as an example…” and should be remembered by us. Take care; all who would get safely to heaven must learn from this example.
[By their negative example we learn we must:]
B.Enlarge our trust
1.The scriptures are full of examples of the wisdom and befit in trusting in the Lord. And examples of the folly and consequences of not trusting in Him.
2.We cannot put our trust in man, as did the Israelites when they trusted more in the report of the spies than in the promises of God. Man is limited and feeble; our God is all powerful and unlimited.
3.We cannot put our trust in the things of this world; all that is here is destined to pass away.
4.We must trust in the Lord if we are to enter into His promised rest.
C.Entomb Our past.
1.We must learn that there is no return to our lives before Christ.
2.Luke 9:62 “But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”