I was angry with this generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways”; as I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest.”
–Hebrews 3:10-11

When we go through times of testing, it can either draw us closer to God or it can drive us further away from God. Somebody has said that the same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. When testing comes into our lives, it can grow our faith, or it can destroy our faith. It depends on our response.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites chose to allow their time of testing to drive them away from God. Hebrews 3:10-11 says, “I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways’; as I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” The writer of Hebrews was quoting from the Old Testament about what happened in Numbers 13-14. The Israelites finally got to the oasis of Kadesh-barnea, the entry point into the Promised Land. God had promised that the land would be theirs, but He also told them they were going to have to fight for it. God told Moses to send 12 spies into the land so they could check out the obstacles they would face in taking possession of the land. Those 12 spies went in. They all came back and said, “Yes, the land is very fertile, but there are giants living there.” Ten of those spies said, “The obstacles are so great we cannot overcome them.” Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, said, “Yes, the obstacles are great, but our God is greater. We must take possession of the land.” The Israelites chose to believe the majority report. God was so angry with them for their failure to trust Him and take the land as He commanded that He prohibited every male adult from entering into the land, except for the two spies who acted with faith. What was the problem with these Israelites? They had hardened their hearts and disobeyed the command of God. They thought, “We would rather stay in the comfort of the known than to take a risk and go into the unknown and obey God.”

Many times, we face that same issue. God tells us to do something, but we are not sure we want to obey because it involves a risk. Perhaps you are thinking about the possibility of obeying God with your finances in tithing as the Bible commands, but you are fearful of what that would mean for your financial future, so you are refusing to listen to the voice of God. Maybe you have been hearing God tell you that you need to end a relationship that is spiritually destructive, but you are afraid of what it would mean to give up the comfort of that relationship for an unknown future of perhaps loneliness. Or maybe you have been convicted about your need to talk with a friend or even a family member about their relationship with God, but you are fearful of what that might do to the relationship. You would rather stay in an easy relationship than to risk breaking that relationship by being obedient to God. The writer of Hebrews was saying to all of us, “Be careful that you do not have a hard heart toward God’s command.”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Danger Of Unbelief” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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