What a good day at study Thursday! Looking back over the reference to Psalm 95 in Hebrews chapters 3 – 4 at the warning to not harden our hearts and come short of our promise of rest, one must ponder how and why this happens. These scriptures take us back to the day of rebellion, the days that Moses is leading God’s people into their promised inheritance. In answering the cry of His people, God is leading them to a land with abundant provision, free from bondage, a life of rest. Hebrews 4:11 tells us to be diligent to enter His rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Let us ponder then these examples. With it all before us in the Scriptures, it seems hard to grasp the actions of the Israelites to God’s miraculous provisions. However, their faith is continuously tested through this journey. Their disobedience was manifest because of doubt and unbelief, with the result being a failure to enter into their promised destiny. Their faith failed because of their unbelief. However, I can’t overlook the example of Moses and his failure to enter as well. We know the writer of Hebrews calls him a faithful servant, highly esteemed for his leadership, and yet he too stumbled in disobedience and missed his promised destiny of leading a people into their rest. This happened because Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded, in order to bring provision of water for the Israelites. What was the reason for his actions? Numbers 20:12 tells us that he didn’t trust God. Once before God had told Moses to strike a rock and water would flow for His people and he did, but in this instance, God said speak. Going back to Exodus chapters 3-4 we read where Moses is chosen as an instrument by God to lead His people to freedom, but Moses’ greatest insecurity was his ability to speak. Even after several instances of miraculous examples from God to build his faith, Moses still feared. This leaving God angered, He still agreed to a mouthpiece for Moses, Aaron.
After 40 years of many miraculous signs of provision and still a lack of faith from the people, one can wonder if Moses and Aaron were discouraged by unbelief, grumbling and complaining. Together in the hearing of God’s voice, He said speak to the rock, so why the striking? It is clear to see that Moses, after many years, never gained victory over his insecurity, his fear to speak. He still trusted in the rod that God had given him (Ex. 4:17). He had seen with his own eyes the power it represented and the miracles performed. However, now was the time for him to overcome his fear by faith and speak, trusting God to empower His words and see water flow from the rock. Instead Moses stumbled in his insecurity that overpowered his faith, loosing his promise of entering his intended destiny through disobedience. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Aaron would have been strong and spoke to Moses when he picked up his staff to strike the rock, reminding him of the word the Lord had spoken. Would he have listened? Could he have been encouraged to obedience from a brother who knew him?
We eventually see Moses at the Mt of Transfiguration, knowing he reached his eternal destiny, but let us glean from his example in testing that we not fall away from a rest that is provided for us daily. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to a greater faith because of the superiority of the completed work of Jesus! It is faith with the power to overcome unbelief and keep us in His promises! Let us head His word!!
Our insecurities and fears are overcome by God-given opportunities that test our faith! Has your faith been tested lately? We have been given the power to overcome by His abiding Spirit, let us not fall away from our intended promised destiny! May we not be as those who hardened their hearts because of unbelief, but let us encourage and exhort one another in this walk of faith together as God’s people. How important it is for us to hear and heed His word, as well as guard what we hear spoken by those around us! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! “Today” if you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart!
In this faith, there is ‘Rest’ that abides!