Read Hebrews 4:4-7 and Psalm 95:8-11. What warning is given there, both in Psalms and in Hebrews, and what should it say to us, today?
Hebrews 4:4-7 quotes both the creation account and Psalm 95:11 in the context of talking about the unfaithfulness of the Israelites and, hence, their failure to enter into the rest that God wanted for them.
Indeed, Psalm 95:8-11 connects Israel’s wilderness experience with God’s rest and includes the divine oath that faithless Israel would not enter into His rest, originally associated with the Promised Land.
Of course, Israel did enter the Promised Land. A new generation crossed the border and, with God’s help, took the strongholds of the land and settled there.
They did not, however, enter into God’s rest, the idea being that many did not experience the reality of salvation in Jesus because their lack of faith was manifested by flagrant disobedience. Even, though rest was associated with the land, it included more than just where the people lived.
Hebrews 4:6 suggests that those who had heard the divine promise of true rest did not enter because of disobedience. What’s the link between disobedience and not entering God’s rest?
“Today” expresses urgency. “Today” means that there is no more time to diddle around. “Today” requires a response and decision now.
Paul grabs hold of the word semeron, “today,” and really emphasizes how important it was in the context of rest. Psalm 95.7-8, meanwhile, is a warning and a plea to God’s people not to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors and fail to enter into the true rest that is found only in the salvation God offers us.
|What should it mean to us, now, when we hear the words “Today, if you will hear His voice: ‘do not harden your hearts’” (NKJV)? What is so important about the word today? After all, Psalms used it thousands of years ago. Nevertheless, why should it still be just as important for our “today” as it was for those who heard it thousands of years ago?|