Read Hebrews 3:12-19
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily ... so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:12-13
The heart of every problem is a problem in the heart. The people of Israel (except Moses, Joshua, and Caleb) erred in their hearts, which means that their hearts wandered from God and His Word. They also had evil hearts of unbelief; they did not believe that God would give them victory in Canaan. They had seen God perform great signs in Egypt, yet they doubted He was adequate for the challenge of Canaan (vv. 7-11, 16-19).
When a person has an erring heart and a disbelieving heart, the result will also be a hard heart. This is a heart that is insensitive to the Word and work of God. So hard was the heart of Israel that the people even wanted to return to Egypt (Num. 14:1-4)! Imagine wanting to exchange their freedom under God for slavery in Egypt! Of course, all this history spoke to the hearts of the readers of this letter, because they were in danger of "going back" themselves.
Believers who doubt God's Word and rebel against Him do not miss heaven, but they do miss out on the blessing of their inheritance today, and they must suffer the chastening of God.
Applying God's Truth:
1. When was the last time your heart was "hardened by sin's deceitfulness"?
2. What are some blessings we stand to lose if we don't deal with hard-heartedness?
3. We are commanded to "encourage one another daily." How do you think this helps prevent forming a "hard heart" toward God? Whom have you encouraged today?
Devotions for Confidence and Integrity ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.