Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 3

Why people must obey God

Hebrews 3:18-19

This time the author answers his question even before he has finished it. God made this serious promise against the people who refused to obey him. Of course that is so. We can see clearly that their wrong attitudes were the reason for their punishment.

The answer is the same as in verses 16 and 17. These were the same people whom God saved from Egypt. But nearly all the adults who left Egypt had the same wrong attitudes. They would not trust God, and they did not want to obey him. So God declared that they would all die in the desert. They would not enter the country that God had promised to their nation.

Only two men, Joshua and Caleb, had remained loyal to God. So only they would enter that country, with the children of the people who died in the desert (Deuteronomy 1:26-39).

So the lesson is a simple one. It is wrong not to obey God. It is wrong not to trust him. We should have faith. Faith means active belief and trust in Godís promises. We act our faith when we obey God. It is not enough to have the kind of belief that is just an idea in our minds (James 2:17). It is not enough to believe that God exists (James 2:19). The result of our faith must be that we obey God.

If we do not obey God, we will not receive his gifts to us. That happened to the people that Moses led. God wanted to give a country to them. That is the initial meaning of Godís Ďrestí in verses 11 and 18. As we shall see in chapter 4, there is another meaning too. That other meaning is for us today. But we shall not receive that Ďrestí if we do not trust God. Unbelief, which ruined their relationship with God then, can ruin ours now.

So we must always be careful to have the right attitude towards God.

Next part: Godís rest (Hebrews 4:1)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.