October 8 – Hebrews 3:7-15. Don’t Test God.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8 – Hebrews 3:7-15. Don’t Test God.

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 wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; 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 and sisters, 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 indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: 

         “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” 

The Holy Spirit is quoting from Psalm 95:7-11.  Do you remember the reason that Moses and everyone else from that generation didn’t enter the Promised Land?  The answer is in the Psalm and is also found in Exodus 17:7:
“And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’”

They tested the Lord.  After all He had done for them; they still refused to acknowledge that He loved them.  Their hearts couldn’t see the incredible love that God poured out on them.  After everything, they still wanted to test His love for them.

We do this to each other, don’t we? We can’t believe that we are worthy of such unconditional love, so we test those who offer it to us and are continually startled when they pass the test.  Kids push their parents – sometimes to extreme limits – to ensure that the response will continue to be, “I love you.”

We do it to our friends and family.  And if someone fails, or if we perceive that they might fail – our hearts harden and we move away from the relationship before we get wounded and hurt.

The author of Hebrews calls on us to be careful of testing God.  He doesn’t want to see our hearts harden because we set a test before God that He won’t take.  If God won’t take the test, we’ll simply perceive it as failure – God doesn’t love us, won’t we?!

God won’t take the test.  Ever.  He allowed an entire generation of His chosen children to die in the desert just outside the promised land.  They never got to cross the border.  When the last of them died, Joshua took them in.

God will not be tested.  If we try to do so, we allow our hearts to be hardened against Him.