“Today if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts
as in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness.”
Oh how this speaks to me and my wayward heart. Lately, I have been hearing Him say “Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” and I’ve retaliated by saying “I am and they aren’t”. Basically, though I’d never word it like this in my logical mind (but only my sinful, cantankerous, temper-tantrum-throwing heart), I am saying “I am faithful and You are not”. Shame on me! That is the furthest thing from the Truth.
So often my focus is on what I see lacking and not what I see provided. I am like Israel, walking through the wilderness for 40 years, and all they can see more walking and manna for the 12,000th day in a row. What they don’t see is that their shoes haven’t even worn out and they’ve eaten every single day, and that God has even made fresh water out of bitter water for them, and made water come out of a rock when there wasn’t a source around. Talk about provision!
I think the greatest difference between a soft heart and a hard heart is that one is full of rejoicing and the other complaining. I am a firm believer that thanksgiving is the balm for a heart that needs tenderized. I have, so often, been in the predicament where all I could see was whatever frustrating circumstance I was in and the Lord put His finger on my hurt and told me to give thanks for it… and when I obeyed, my whole perspective was changed.
Later on in this Hebrews passage, we see the Bible using unbelief and disobedience, and belief and obedience interchangeably (see 3:18-19, and a little less clearly in 4:11-12 and even in John 3:36). The Lords frustration with Israel was their unbelief, which was the root of their disobedience. Thankfulness clears our vision to believing.
I also adore how He says “as in the day of testing in the wilderness”. 40 years and He calls it a day! We often feel like we will NEVER get out of our trials, but as Psalm 66:8-12 seem to cry out, the trials are the path to the place of Abundance!