Scripture gives us an admonition, “Today if you will hear His voice.” What
is partly made known to us by this glorious declaration is the voice of God can be
heard today. However, there is more than an offer to hear, but an instruction to do
so. If you go on to read the next part, it says, “Do not harden your heart as in the
rebellion.” The truth is, everyday of our lives we do one or the other- hear or
Though much could be said about this passage, there is a main point I wish
to make. Some of the most wonderful words we will ever hear God say are in the
form of correction. Like the children of Israel, we have the choice to either hear
His correction and respond, or harden our hearts and resist. How we respond is
typically determined by whether we see God as an oppressor and question His
motives, or if we genuinely know Him as a loving Father filled with grace and
There is vitality in remembering that the word of correction from our Father
is not a condemnation for where we are, but an invitation to where He is. His word
is always for good and never to tear down.
The problem for the children of Israel was not an absence of His word,
which is even more true for us now that Christ has come. Their problem was they
simply didn’t like what He was saying. We either hear and respond, or we harden
against Him. The tragedy for them was that hardening their hearts against God
was so, utterly self-destructive. Somehow, in their hardness of heart, they
concluded it better to return to bondage and slavery in Egypt rather than enter the
rest and purpose prepared for them. In other words, hardness of heart makes the
destructive nature of sin and selfishness look appealing, while making the love and
grace of God valueless and to be avoided.
What an awful irony, wishing to return to Pharaoh as if he were a friend.
Pharaoh- a brutal oppressor, about whom they had cried out to God for
deliverance. The same condition of hardness led then to esteem God as a foe,
though He possessed far more care and love for them than they had for themselves.
How do we know we are hearing His word, responding to His instruction,
delightfully being changed by His correction? The simple, yet profound answer is
this, we enter and remain in His rest.
Multitudes embrace a destiny of disaster, spiritually dying in the wilderness
under the delusion it is better to self-determine their own steps rather than letting
His word establish their journey. Hearing His voice every day is the richest reward
we can ever know. Nothing compares. Hardening against His voice, and the
instruction thereof, leads us blindly back to Egypt.