Today, do not harden your heart
Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, he again specifies a certain day—today. He specified this speaking through David after such a long time:
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Hebrews 4:6-7 CSB
The two verses from our text build off of verse 4 and 5, with three key points. First, God has intended some people to enter the promised rest as seen in the first part of verse 4 saying, “it remains for some to enter it.” We know that the first generation of Israelites who left Egypt were unable to enter, yet the second generation under Joshua’s leading were able to experience the Promised Land. From biblical history the reader knows that Joshua and Caleb entered the land of Canaan. They put their trust in God, who kept his Word. They were privileged to enter the Land of Promise, because God does not break his Word. This fact remains throughout the ages and is unchangeable. Thus, the reader of these verses is exhorted to enter God’s rest, because God is true to his Word and does fulfill his promise. That is what we read from the introductory clause, “it still remains that some will enter that rest.” If we accept God’s Word in faith and do His will obediently, the promise of rest will be fulfilled for us, too. That fact is unquestionable. Second, the cause of the Israelites inability to experience the promised rest was due to their disobedience and unbelief, as seen in the second half of verse 6 saying, “those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience.” Those people who heard the voice of God from Sinai and who were given the law of Moses refused to accept the promise. They were without excuse, for although they heard the gospel, they chose to disobey. They received their due when entrance into Canaan was denied. Their unbelief turned into disobedience; hearts were willfully opposed to God and His Word. The third and final point is that God’s rest is present for the author’s readers and for us today, as seen in verse 7, “He again specifies a certain day—today…if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” The word “Today” emphasizes the characteristics of relevance, timeliness, and newness. The same rest and redemption that was offered to the Israelites is available to you and me today. He makes his promise available today, which is the time for embracing the gracious offer of salvation. God appeals to readers: do not harden your hearts and make the decision to believe in Christ today. God’s promise is always valid. No matter how many centuries elapse, God’s Word spans the ages; His message is just as clear, firm, and sure today as it was when first said.
Isaac De Guzman