Summary: Print for the believer going deeper with God
“THEREFORE, LET US FEAR LEST, WHILE A PROMISE REMAINS OF ENTERING HIS REST, ANY ONE OF YOU SHOULD SEEM TO HAVE COME SHORT OF IT. 2 FOR INDEED WE HAVE HAD GOOD NEWS PREACHED TO US, JUST AS THEY ALSO; BUT THE WORD THEY HEARD DID NOT PROFIT THEM, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT UNITED BY FAITH IN THOSE WHO HEARD.”
Just a reminder to begin; the word “fear” in verse one does not mean being afraid in the sense of being caused to cower down like a whipped dog. It means ‘reverence’. An awe-filled respect; but at the same time a sense of potential danger for the one who ignores the warnings.
So the writer to the Hebrews is saying that we should be on guard as though against great danger; danger of not entering into God’s rest through neglect of the truths we have had preached to us.
We have had good news preached to us. That’s really the key point being made here.
The writer has just been talking about the children of Israel who were delivered by God from bondage to the Egyptians. Most of us know the story. Moses, the ten plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea. Later, as the children of Israel were led through the wilderness by God, they disobeyed Him through unbelief. (Chpt 3:7-19)
Now, did you catch that? Let me say it again. They failed to believe God, and He considered that disobedience. In chapter 3 verse 12 the Holy Spirit (through the author), says that unbelief is an expression from an evil heart.
Why is that? Well, because God cannot lie, and God cannot be wrong, and all that God has done toward mankind has been out of love and to save him (man) from certain destruction. Therefore, when man disbelieves God, it is the same as calling God a liar; calling Him wrong, rejecting His love. The more man knows about God, the more sinful and insulting his disbelief becomes. Think about your relationships with people. If a man approaches me on the street, someone I’ve never seen before, and I treat him with suspicion, being slow to believe what he says, I am justified. I am only being wise and prudent. But if a good friend, or even my brother, tells me something to warn me against impending danger, or to advise me of good things to come, if I refuse to believe them I not only open myself to that danger, or to miss that good thing, but worse than all that, I insult our relationship and cause tension between that person and myself.
The good news that was preached to the children of Israel did not profit them because it was met with faithlessness and unbelief. How very sad. Because of their refusal to believe the God who had helped them so miraculously, an entire generation died in the wilderness, never seeing the lush, beautiful land He wanted to take them to. This should serve as a warning for us.
We have had good news preached to us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“If any man be in Christ he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold, all things are made new”. (II Corinthians 5:17)