“And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.…. Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:18-19,12).
Hebrews warns the New Testament church to heed Israel’s example. Consider what happened to the unbelieving generation who were turned back into the wilderness. God told them pointedly that his hand would be against them. From then on, all they would know is distress and leanness of soul. They wouldn’t see his glory. Instead, they would become focused on their own problems and consumed by their own lusts.
That’s exactly what happens with all unbelieving people: They end up consumed with their own welfare. They have no vision, no sense of God’s presence, and no prayer life. They no longer care about their neighbors, or a lost world, or eventually even their friends. Instead, the entire focus of their lives is on their problems, their troubles, their illnesses. They go from one crisis to another, shut up in their own pain and suffering. And their days are filled with confusion, strife, envy and division.
For thirty-eight years, Moses watched as, one by one, every Israelite in the unbelieving generation died. As he looked back on those who wasted their lives away in the wilderness, he saw that everything God had warned about had happened. “The hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them until they were consumed” (see Deuteronomy 2). God suspended his eternal purpose for Israel for all those years.
Likewise today, some Christians are content to merely exist until they die. They don’t want to risk anything, to believe God, to grow or mature. They refuse to believe his Word, and have become hardened in their unbelief. Now they’re just living to die.
Beloved, you will only see His glory when you walk in obedience. Choose that path and find life everlasting!