And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. Hebrews 3:16-19 NLT
God expects those who made a commitment to follow Him will persevere and finish well. They will not rebel against God for when they hear His voice, they will obey. There is a possibility that we hear God through His Word yet be resistant to Him. This is why we need to be vigilant. “We must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1). The Israelites begun their glorious journey out of Egypt filled with great expectations. They left with great hope for they have seen God’s marvelous acts. Yet, they did not understand for they were overcome with their unbelief and will not trust God completely that He will provide. They disobeyed God for they did not believe that He will be with them when they conquer the Promised Land. The series of questions raised by the writer of Hebrews from the text provided an example of how people develop the hardening of their hearts. They begun with having hope then proceeded to disbelief and resulted to disobedience. The writer then concluded, “So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest” (Hebrews 3:19). Their good beginning did not keep them from rebellion. God promised them rest which they will experience as soon as they enter the Promised Land. Yet, they failed to enter for they did not believe God. Belief in God should be manifested by inner transformation evidenced by actions. It is important that when we say we believe Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He must have the preeminent position in our lives. He should be more important than pursuing careers, success, pleasures, and material prosperity. Nothing can compare with knowing, just like Paul, that we had “fought the good fight, had finished the race, and had remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7). What a joy to know that we can finish well for He promised: the “God who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).