Sin means those thoughts, words and deeds that are bad and evil. Clearly, such things are never right or good. But sin deceives us. In other words, it causes us to think things that are not true.
This passage is about one particular sin called unbelief. This happens when people refuse to trust God. God is our maker, and he loves us. So it is clearly wrong not to trust him. But it is easy to believe things that are not true. We can see our problems; we cannot see God. We pretend that we control our own lives. So we imagine that we do not need God’s help. Or we think that he is not really powerful.
When we think such thoughts, sin deceives us. Or, we could say that we have deceived ourselves. The problem is in our own hearts and minds. We have a wrong attitude that we do not want to change. That is what the Bible calls ‘a hard heart’.
This was not just a problem for people in the Old Testament (that is, before Jesus came). The author of Hebrews emphasises the word ‘today’ in Psalm 95:7. It is a danger for people who want to serve God now. And it is a danger each and every day.
So we must tell each other about this danger. One Bible translation says that we must ‘encourage’ each other. But the original meaning is to use words that will have an effect on people. So we should ‘warn’ people. We should ‘urge’ them. We cannot ‘stop’ people, because we cannot control another person’s mind. But we should use our words to try to save people from the danger of unbelief.
But it is not only other people who need to hear this advice. We also need to warn ourselves. The whole nation that Moses led accepted these wrong attitudes. But it is very sad when even one person refuses to obey God.
Next part: Sharers (Hebrews 3:14)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.