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.’ ” – Heb. 3:10-11 NIV
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The writer of the biblical book of Hebrews, who is believed to be the Apostle Paul had chosen to warn those who have heard the message of the Cross against unbelief as the repercussion may not be the best. Citing the scripture that referenced the unbelief of some of the Israelites that left Egypt for the Promised land, he reminded them of the revelation through the Holy Spirit of the reaction of Jehovah who vowed that they will not enter into His rest – Psa. 95:7-11; Heb. 3:7-11. That reaction revealed how Jehovah views unbelief and this is the focus of today’s Devotional.
- Jehovah views the act of unbelief as a deliberate act of man to act against doing His Will, an action which he considers as rebellion against Him – Heb. 3:8a. The scriptures reveal that Jehovah compares the act of rebellion to witchcraft (1Sam. 15:23), an act for which He prescribed death – Exo. 22:18. The one who rebels against Him should therefore expect to be spiritually dead.
- Jehovah views unbelief as an act by man aimed at testing His resolve on an issue – Heb. 3:8b. That every one living has at some point heard of Jehovah and His several exploits is not in argument so when people especially those who claim to be Christians do not believe His Words, He considers it as an attempt to test Him, an act which He warned against. The devil put up such act that may be interpreted as unbelief when by testing Jesus Christ he was made to realise that his action was an attempt at testing Jehovah, an act which he instantly rebuked him for – Matt. 4:7; Deut. 6:16.
- Jehovah considers unbelief as the product of a heart that has strayed from Him – Heb. 3:10a. Definitely, a heart that is focused on Jehovah will not hear, know or consider any other option in challenging times. The option of that act that constitutes unbelief did not become available because of the challenge but was simply taken because such has always allowed it to be in consideration in the first place. A heart that is focused on Jehovah sees and hears nothing outside what He reveals or says.
- Jehovah considers the one that is unbelieving as one who never knew His ways – Heb. 3:10b. This no doubt is very true as there is a world of difference between hearing and listening. Jehovah Himself implied this when He told Prophet Jeremiah that the Israelites were always before him to hear what the Lord had to say but were not listening. That someone preaches the Word or is always in the environment where the Word is constantly being preached does not mean that such is listening and that seems to be the case with the Christian who is unbelieving. The Word simply comes in through one ear and escapes through the other and it has no root. No matter how long such may claim to have being in the Faith, there is obviously no sign that such knows the Word of Jehovah.
The result of their unbelief was his reaction which is the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional and listed below;
- He was and will always be angry with the one that is unbelieving – Heb. 3:10a. It will simply be a waste of time for anyone to remain a Christian if such does not demonstrate belief in Jehovah during challenging times as such is already under his anger. In fact, such should expect the manifestation of the effect of His anger even when there are no challenges, just as the challenges may actually be the result of His anger. Avoid His anger by expressing total belief in Him at all times.
- He concluded that the unfaithful will always be so, no matter what such may experience or witness – Heb. 3:10b. How else should such expect to be viewed if after all that must have been seen or heard about the works of Jehovah, such can still not believe that He is more than able to overcome all challenges. Even Jesus Christ confirmed that such people are under a curse and all they will experience are woes – Matt. 11:21-23. The Christian who desires to avoid all those misfortunes must place absolute belief in Jehovah. The one who does not do so should not look too far for the reason for all those problems as they may just have been caused by Jehovah.
- He was not going to allow them get into His rest – Heb. 3:11. There can be no rest for the Christian who is unbelieving as there will always be a deliberate action on the part of Jehovah to ensure that. Avoid a life of struggles and defeats by placing total belief in Jehovah. He is the only One that can grant you that desired rest from all your struggles.
Unbelief will always be an act that will continue to deprive the Christian of comfort and stop such from enjoying the rest that Jehovah can provide for all those who remain in Him during periods of trials and temptations. Not believing will not only make nonsense of all that Christianity stands for in the life of such a person but will also not help in expanding the kingdom of God on earth. The life of an unbeliever will never speak of the greatness of Jehovah as He will be restrained from manifesting in such lives. The Christian has sufficient testimonies, either personal or that of others to draw on and so has no reason to be unbelieving. There is also no reason to remain a Christian if you do not believe in the One at the centre of the Faith. Do all to demonstrate belief in Him during all those trials and challenges by remaining in Faith and He will bring you into the rest He has prepared for you – Heb. 3:12-14. May God help to strengthen our belief in Jesus name. Amen.