4/15 Women’s Devotional Notes

4/15/20 – Women’s Devotional Notes

In the Wilderness

Hebrews Chapters 3 & 4

Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,”
that time of wilderness testing! Even though they watched me at
work for forty years, your ancestors refused to let me do it my way;
over and over they tried my patience. And I was provoked, oh, so
provoked! I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God; they refuse
to walk down my road.”
Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never
be able to sit down and rest.”12-14 So watch your step, friends. Make
sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and
throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long
as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t
slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure
thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.
These words keep ringing in our ears:
Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.
15-19 For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they
the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked
with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and
ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d
never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who
turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened,
never believed.
4 1-3 For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to
God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified.
We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness,
but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t
receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll
experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith.
Remember that God said,
Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never
be able to sit down and rest.”
3-7 God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the
foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the
seventh day, having completed his work,” but in this other text he
says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” So this promise
has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the
place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing
the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s
psalm, centuries later than the original invitation:
Today, please listen, don’t turn a deaf ear . . .
8-11 And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of
Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for
“today.” The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s
people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll
surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the
place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.
12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful
Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything,
whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.
Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away
from it—no matter what.
The High Priest Who Cried Out in Pain
14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest
with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We
don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been
through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So
let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take
the mercy, accept the help.