Israel thought that they were the goal, the end, the people. God was to serve them. This attitude is reflected in the church today. Jesus says, Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. That generation of Israelites died in the wilderness due to their rebellion. Disobedience always cuts us off from God's blessing. We should not presume upon our status, but obey Christ as the greater Moses.
Scripture: Hebrews 3:1-19
- The incident of Israel’s rebellion is mentioned several times in Scripture (cf. Ps. 78, 105, 114; Is 28:21; 1 Cor. 10:1-5). This indicates that God considered this significant.
- Christ is able to understand and help us in all our weaknesses and failures, as He was tempted in every way like us.
- We are partakers of a heavenly calling. We must consider Jesus and His faithfulness.
- We are always to make progress, even to our death, for our whole life is a race. John Calvin
- God’s work in our lives is life-long, and His intention is that we finish the race, complete the course so that we win the prize.
- Christ is greater than the prophets, the angels, and even Moses
- Christ is the Builder of the House, the Kingdom of God.
- We need to change from a man-centered perspective of faith to a God-centered perspective.
- Israel thought that they were the goal, the end, the people. God was to serve them. This attitude is reflected in the church today.
- Jesus says, Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
- We are not Christ’s commanders. We are His servants.
- Moses was a faithful, yet fallible, servant. Moses testified to Christ; he pointed to the Builder. Israel was not faithful.
- Perseverance is a measure of true faith, a mark that our faith in God is real.
- James Boyce: To be God’s house means then to persevere in quiet confidence, knowing that one has a matter for pride in Christian hope.
- Christ is also the Judge of the House.
- Judgment begins with the House of God. We forget that we are privileged and blessed to be a part of this House. With that privilege comes an obligation to be faithful to God.
- God’s rest is seen as fulfilled through Jesus (cf. Ps. 95:7-11).
- We are told to listen to the Holy Spirit (v7).
- The Israelites provoked and tested God (vv8-9; cf. Ex. 17:1-7). The challenge to us is: Let’s not make the same mistake as Israel after the Exodus, failing to enter into His rest because of rebellion and disobedience.
- When we seek to play God, we try to create a trouble-free world for ourselves and our children, or have the State do it for us.
- Israel had witnessed multiple miraculous acts of God, yet when they were thirsty they grumbled and wanted to stone Moses. They didn’t see themselves as the problem but God.
- If we see the problem as God, we pray to change God, not ourselves.
- The modern world sees itself as a collection of victims. We don’t see the problem of sin in ourselves or our need for change.
- That generation of Israelites died in the wilderness due to their rebellion. Disobedience always cuts us off from God’s blessing.
- We should not presume upon our status, but obey Christ as the greater Moses. If contempt for Moses, the servant, led to dying in the wilderness, how much worse will we be punished if we show contempt for Christ?
- Unbelief is at the root of rebellion, sinful departures from God.
- Christian fellowship, mutual encouragement and exhortation, are a remedy to deceit and doubt.
- God is sovereign; we are accountable. He is a consuming fire.
- The true people of God will persevere, even though they stumble.
- How are we, the contemporary church, like the rebellious Israelites? Give examples.
- Is Christianity a one-time decision or a life-long marathon? Do we live and think this way?
- Do we pray as though God needs to change, or we do?
- What lies at the root of rebellion? What does the writer of Hebrews direct us to as a preventive for this? See Heb. 3:12,13.
- What is one mark of genuine faith? How is the church today lacking in this, and how can Christians encourage one another in this?