Several times in Hebrews Chapter 4, we are warned about the need to enter into God’s rest, and the consequences of refusing His rest. In the context of Chapter 4, the word rest is synonymous with the concept of salvation. The children of Israel refused to enter into God’s rest (salvation) by disobeying God’s commands. While Moses was atop the mountain getting the ten commandments directly from the mouth of God, they were down below worshiping their idols and indulging in their carnal pleasures.
It’s easy for us to condemn the children of Israel for acting so brazenly toward their God—especially after they had witnessed the many miracles God performed during their flight from Egypt. We are so quick to criticize the speck in their eye when we still haven’t noticed the log in our own. After all, if we’d seen the miracles they did, we surely wouldn’t be acting that way!
Maybe it’s time to re-examine our attitude. Have we truly NOT seen the kind of miracles the children of Israel were privy to?
Consider the miracle of God’s Word still being active today after all these years, alive and sharper than any two edged sword. And the reality that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—all three—live in every believer. And because of that reality, we have the miracle of rebirth; we become a new creation in Christ Jesus, to live as a servant of God and no longer be bound by sin. When you get right down to it, these are all much bigger miracles than what the children of Israel witnessed.
And yet we continue to disobey the Lord’s commands and risk not entering into God’s rest. How in the world, then, can we be so critical of the children of Israel?