Journal – December 5, 2021
16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
FAILURE OF THE WILDERNESS WANDERERES
Vs. 16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? The Apostle asks and then answers the question who having heard rebelled, it was those that came out of Egypt. Now what had they heard? At Mount Sinai when all the people witnessed the thunderings and lightnings, the loud trumpet blast, and the mountain smoking; the LORD speaking to them from heaven. They told Moses you speak to us, and we will hear, but let not God speak with us lest we die. By these considerations the Apostle continues addressing the Hebrews, their father’s had promised they would diligently attend to the words of the law and continue in the profession of it. They lied! We find that they actually provoked the Lord by the manna He provided, comparing it to the food they had in Egypt. As they continued in this manner of grumbling about things they did not like; God started leaving off their corpses.
- The preachers of the gospel may take up the complaint of the prophet, who has believed our report? Or the Apostle’s appeal to the unbelieving Jews, behold you despisers, and wonder and perish. Most of them that heard our Savior preach perished. They got nothing by hearing His doctrine, through their unbelief, but an aggravation of their sin and a hastening of their ruin. His presence and preaching lifted them up to heaven—but their unbelief brought them down to hell. It is a great privilege for men to have the word preached unto them, but privileges are as men use them. Therefore, the gospel becomes to some a savor of death unto death.
- In most general and visible apostacies of the Church, God will preserve a remnant to Himself, to bear witness unto Him and for Him by their faith and obedience.
- God lays a few, sometimes a very few, of His secret ones in the balance against the greatest multitude of rebels and transgressors. They that provoked God were about six-hundred-thousand men, and upon this particular matter only two, Caleb and Joshua, opposed them.
Vs. 17, 18 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? There were three sorts of sins of which the people were guilty in the wilderness.
- They were universally guilty of personal sin.
- Of special provocations wherein members of the congregation were engaged.
- General sins of the whole congregation. Public sins, in societies are great provocations to God. May God be pleased to help cities and nations, especially that hear the voice of God, well to consider it, and all of us to take heed to national sins.
Whose corpses fell in the wilderness He does not say they died, but their corpses fell, which intimates contempt and indigitation. God will sometimes make men that have been famously wicked in sin, famed in their punishment. The Apostle says they sinned and provoked God; therefore, their corpses fell in the wilderness. This is reported for our instruction. Then we read they did not obey; God had told them He was giving them the land of Canaan and commanded them to go and possess it. They did not believe He would or could bring them into the land. Their unbelief was accompanied with disobedience and rebellion. This was sufficient to justify God in His severity against them, in His oath and the execution of it. The supreme authority of God should always be obeyed, or rebellion, disobedience, and stubbornness is added to your sin. Next, we see that God in His wrath swore they would not enter into His rest. Now we find that this information was given to us for instruction, if we do not believe God this sets forth our latter end. To those who are in doubt as to whether they should believe or not, not notionally and indefinitely, but practically and particular. This is the state of many which causes them to fluctuate all their days. The oath of Jehovah is engaged against the entrance of unbelievers into His rest, so also it is engaged for the eternal security of those who do believe.
Vs. 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. It is just as clear as it can be they could not enter in, and that the reasonwas because of unbelief. This is a sin that men do not charge themselves with, but it is that which above all others will be charged upon them by God. Now whatever we consider to be sin, God principally considers the root and spring of it is unbelief, as that which makes the most direct and immediate opposition against Him. Unbelief is the immediate basis of all provoking sins. Our obedience follows in proportion to our faith, so do all our sins and irregularities respond to the working and prevalence of unbelief in us. Unbelief deprives men of all interest in or right to the promises of God. A promise was given to this people being brought into the land of Canaan, yet they did not enter but died in the wilderness. The Apostle declares they disinherited themselves and lost all interest in the promise by their unbelief. Don’t you entertain better hopes of your condition when you follow their example. No unbeliever shall ever enter the rest of God. This is a clear warning, are you paying attention?
A MEDITATION ON THE LOVE OF OUR LORD
Ephesians 3: 16-19 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Of all the sympathetic emotions of our Lord’s humanity, the emotion of love must be regarded as the parent source. We should have known nothing of Christ, or His redemption, but for love. The stupendous fact that Christ loves us—loves man, sinful man—admits us to the secret of all that He has done, and still doing, for man. There is no other solution to the marvelous mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial Death but this—Christ hath loved us.
Love originated all, explains all, illustrates all—love is the interpreter of every Divine mystery. There is not a circumstance of our Lord’s history which is not another form or manifestation of love. His incarnation is love stooping; His sympathy is love weeping; His compassion is love succoring; His grace is love acting. His teaching is the voice of love. His silence is the repose of love; His patience is the restraint of love; His obedience is the labor of love; His suffering is the travail of love; His cross is the altar of love; His death is the burnt offering of love; His resurrection is the triumph of love; His ascension into heaven, and sitting down at the right hand of God, is the enthronement and the intercession of love….The soil muses in silent awe as it gazes upon this fathomless, illimitable sea. Like the eternity of God, we know not where it begins, or where it terminates. It has neither beginning nor ending. Like the peace of God it passes all understanding, like itself it passes all knowledge.
Catechism Question 84
Q: Which is the tenth commandment?
A: The tenth commandment is, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. – Exodus 20:17
“Prove It” Catechism Question 124
Q: What do we pray for in the third petition?
A: That men on earth may serve God as the angels do in heaven.
Psalm 103:20,22 Bless the lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion; Bless the Lord, O my soul!