Have you ever watched a child's body language when they don't want to do something? They turn away in some way. They're defiant and often stubborn in their defiance.
As we get older, not really more mature, we learn to do this in more subtle ways. It's called passive-aggressive behavior.
This reaction—whether external or internal—can be destructive, especially when we get defiant and stubborn with God.
As the Holy Spirit says, “If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn. Don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled and tested me in the desert. That is where your ancestors tested me, although they had seen what I had done for 40 years. [vss 7-10a]
That is why I was angry with those people. So I said, ‘Their hearts continue to stray, and they have not learned my ways.’ So I angrily took a solemn oath that they would never enter my place of rest.” [vss 10b-11]
Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn. After all, we will remain Christ’s partners only if we continue to hold on to our original confidence until the end. [vss 12-14]
(Hebrews 3:7-14 GW) [Context– Hebrews 3]
Key phrase—If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What does the Holy Spirit say and who is He speaking to?
Are you familiar with this narrative found in Numbers Chap 14?
What is said about those who rebelled? How are their attitudes and actions described?
What solemn warning is given? What encouragement is given?
This is the second of five strong warnings in the book of Hebrews. It warns against developing an unbelieving heart.
Unbelief is the opposite of trust. It is spiritual cynicism and deceives the heart, causing us to turn away from God.
We can easily become hardened by sin and its deceptiveness, and our own willfulness.
How can this be countered?
Interestingly, it can be countered through encouragement by others to stay the course of trusting in God, rather than defying Him.
We need each other. We need the perspective that comes from fellowship with other believers in corporate worship.
The enemy of our soul wants us to be isolated and stubborn.
God provides the Body of Christ—a community of believers turning towards God—to keep us heading in the right direction. Turned towards God.
We can choose to be like defiant and stubborn children with God, or choose to listen to and trust Him.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
How is the reminder of this incident in Numbers 14 related to believers now?
How do you guard your heart and mind from the deception of sin and hardening your heart?
What advice and encouragement is given that applies to believers today?
What are specific ways we can encourage and help each other to continue trusting in the Lord?
Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews