August 28th – Today, Hear His Voice

The first ten chapters in the letter to the Hebrews are really four sermons dealing with the most important questions every generation asks: the first was Who am I? (What is a human being?)
The second sermon is: ‘Where am I heading?’or ‘What is my destiny, my goal in life? Is there any point in it?
This sermon is in Hebrews Chapters 3 and 4. Again his text is taken from the Psalms; this time, Psalm 95: 8 and 11
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hears as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where you fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. …So I declared an oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest”.
The clever thing in this sermon is his use of the word “rest” as a goal in life. He says God always sets goals for us: aims and purposes; and one is a rest to head for, more than the rest from desert wandering but being at home in a lovely land flowing with milk and honey. Another way he uses the word ‘rest’ means ‘To be at home with God, and completely at ease: like a Sabbath rest day. To the Jews the Sabbath was glory, it was worship, a family day; a day of re-creation, time to be truly ‘at home’. It was a joy not a burden. And yet another way he uses the word ‘rest’ is for heaven.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest, for the people of God;” Hebrews 4:9
Your goal in life is a place where you are finally at home with God and his family, and able to enjoy living with God. But in these two chapters he keeps repeating the Psalmist’s warning “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts … as your forebears did” – four times he says it.
Something happened at Meribah (which means ‘rioting’, ‘becoming ungovernable’), and Massah (which means ‘rebellion – pride’) which was the sin even of Moses, as if saying: “I’ll show you lot who is the boss!”. The warning is that ungovernable rioting people, and arrogant exasperated leaders do not enter into God’s ‘rest’.Hence the repeated warning today:
The eternal is Now Yesterday is gone -Tomorrow is not here.
All we have got to act in is today NOW!
A Prayer:
Open the ears of my soul, O God, that this very day I hear your voice and do not harden my heart.
Now read Hosea Chapter 14.

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