Today’s Reading: Hebrews 3:1-19
Why is it that we as people have so much trouble heeding warnings? Sometimes it is because we misunderstand.
Such is the case with the story that “Some time ago, zoo officials in Kirby, England, had to pay visitors for articles stolen by monkeys. But what puzzled them was the favourite item the animals snatched: Eyeglasses. An investigation revealed the reason. The monkeys grabbed the glasses when visitors leaned over to read a small sign on the wall of the cage. The sign said: “Beware! These monkeys steal spectacles.”
Often the problem is not a due to a misunderstanding but ignoring the warning. What do you do when you see a sign posted saying, “Do not touch, wet paint?” “ I don’t know about you but I always feel compelled to see if it is still wet.” Not paying attention to warnings is messy thing!
Today we are going to look at the second of two warnings found in the letter to the Hebrews, the first in (2:1-4) pointed out the danger of drifting and now he points out the danger of doubting. Our danger today is not that in giving in to pressure to return to some previously held belief, but many church members do have to fight the temptation to live lives that are essentially no different than the non-Christians around them!
Verse twelve he says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” The term “depart” (apostenai) the root word for apostasy. The warning is to guard our hearts because there is the danger in each of our lives of turning away from what we know to be the truth.
Kent Hughes says, “The problem today is that so many people when asked about faith point to their ‘exodus’ – when they began with Christ. They can wax eloquent about their experience. How dare anyone questions that! They ‘went forward’ – the left Egypt – they were baptized and identified with God’s people – they visibly drank from the same rock (Christ) – they use the same redemptive vocabulary with same pious inflections. But troubles came, and they turned away. Their ‘exodus’ is a convenient memory. But to trust God now? That is a problem, for there faith is dead.”
If our hearts have become hardened so that we expect nothing from God and attempt nothing for God, then our belief is more in our heads than it is in our hearts.