Journal Heb 3 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.

Therefore, I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

Take care, brothers, lest there be in you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the Living God. But exhort one another every day—as long as it is called ‘Today’—that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb 3:7-13)

Observation: The Writer compares Israel to the believers in the local church today—the works of God are seen and forgotten, and the ways of God are not pursued and known.

That sounds familiar…

Analysis: I think a main point in this passage is comprehending that unbelief is evil. If I start with that principle (with some others), then I begin to understand more on why I need a Savior.

But here is the issue with Man: there are two positions possibly taken by people:

  1. Believe in something, anything, and that is good; it is sincere, and God will “honor” it, and/or,
  2. I need proof. I don’t want to rubber stamp a “belief” publicly if I don’t believe it privately.

However, contrary to any publicly held convictions, according to the Scriptures, there is only God, the God of Abraham, the Father of the Trinity that is involved. Paul, to the Romans, explaining the facts:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who, by their unrighteousness, suppress the truth. For what can be known about God IS PLAIN TO THEM, because God has shown it to them.

For his invisible attributes (namely, his eternal power and divine nature) have been CLEARLY PERCEIVED, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So…they are without excuse.” (Rom 1:18-20; continue through 25a)

So, plainly, if I don’t align myself with what I clearly perceive about God, then I am dallying with functional unbelief, and that will be counted to me as being evil.

This even reads to me like it is over the top, but is it? Running all the way back to Genesis 3, “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. (and here comes the deception) For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:4-5)

Therefore, what? I am jumping through the logical steps but, in summary, I can have an evil, unbelieving heart because I am using my own desires and reasonings to have a proximity to Christianity that satisfies what I want but misses the mark.

And what is the failsafe provided by the Holy Spirit? Brothers and sisters caring for each other through identifying actions (or non-actions) of Grace in each other’s lives.

The concepts of “holding each other accountable” falls into this scripture, but let’s face it—the saying holds true: For every “aw, phooey” comment I give to another, I probably should have 9 other “you did good” comments stacked up.

If all I am seeing is the “need out there”, are there brothers and sisters being hardened by sin’s deception sitting right next to me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, most of the New Testament is assigned, not to the unsaved masses, but to the local church so they will be built up to a dwelling place for you. I have been shortsighted all my life for I majored in the Church and not the Harvest.

Help me, O God.


Ricky Two Shoes