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Hebrews 3:7-13

The writer continues his message. Now he warns about falling into unbelief. He gives the example of the people of Israel and their unbelief in the wilderness (Exodus 17:1-7). The readers would be familiar with this history of Israel. The Bible gives us rules we must and must not do, principles of what we must and must not do, and examples of success (what God approves) and failure (what God disapproves). We are warned. We have hope. Jude 1:24-25 Now to him who is able to protect youp from falling and to present [youp] without blame before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. 25 To the only wise God our Savior, [be] glory, majesty, supremacy, and complete authority, both now and forever. Amen

My translation and notes of Hebrews 3:7-13

Jesus Warning About Unbelief

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if youp will listen to his voice,

[God’s message is heard, but most shut their ears. Compare Isaiah 42:20, Jeremiah 6:10, and Zechariah 7:11-12].

8 “Do not harden yourp hearts, as in ’The Provocation,’ the day of testing in the wilderness,

[The Greek word for ‘harden’ is σκληρύνω sklērýnō (G4645). It means to harden something. Applied to the heart/soul/will of a person means to be stubborn and obstinate, that is, refusing to yield to God’s message. People can of their own free will listen or not listen (Proverbs 28:14). The love for sin hardens people. The Provocation is found in Exodus 17:1-7. The people tested, provoked, God. Their actions were intended to make God angry. We must not provoke, irritate, challenge, or have no faith in God].

9 “When yourp fathers challenged me, questioned my credibility, and saw my works for forty years.

[Obviously seeing in not believing. They saw but refused. They saw but challenged. They saw but questioned His ability to do something. Repeatedly, they saw the good blessings of God but refused to believe, glorify, and be thankful to Him (Romans 1:21). What happened to them (dying in the wilderness march) could happen to us, it we do the same things. Compare Acts 5:3, Luke 20:23, Romans 9:20, and Matthew 13:58].

10 “Therefore, I was totally disgusted with that generation and said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not really known my ways.’

[‘That generation’ is the specific generation that heard and saw Messiah Jesus working miracles for Israel after their Exodus from Egypt during their 40 years of wandering. The judgment of His total disgust was that their hearts were not faithful and loyal to Him, nor did they understand His ways, which is His worldview, lifestyle, and decisions made in wisdom, love, and holiness. They did not want to know His ways nor take the time to learn them. They only gave lip service of loyalty but not their lives. Let us beware. Let us learn from the grievous error].

11 “So I took an oath in my wrath, ’They will never enter my rest.’” [Psalm 95:7-11]

12 Be careful, brothers, lest there be in any of youp an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

[The slow slide into unbelief is a danger to all believers. There is the danger of something becoming a higher standard than the Bible. It may be science, philosophy, reason, emotions, spiritual experiences, love of something sinful, pride, forgetting to read and study the truth (Bible) every day. It may be a drawing away by politics, social action, problems, difficulties, illness, depression, etc. We continually need all believers to encourage us and rebuke us if necessary. Continually choosing other authorities (science, authority figure, government, etc.) and neglecting truth can lead to departing from God].

13 Urge one another every day while it is still “Today,” lest any of youp become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

[Hardening is a callus. Repeated use of any object leads to the skin becoming thicker. Repeated use of sin leads to a callused heart. Sin is deceitful because it seems pleasurable but practicing sin becomes an addiction which leads to overwhelming problems spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially, etc. Compare Israel’s history as in Psalm 78:40. See Jeremiah 17:5, 9, and James 1:14].

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