Psalm 95, 97-99: Do Not Harden Your Hearts

Here is a warning from God in Psalm 95 to avoid the mistakes of the Israelites in the desert:

7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.”
11 Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”

The key to this section is this, “if you hear the voice of God and choose not to listen, you will not enter His rest.” This is what happened to Israel, they disobeyed the voice of God and were denied entrance into His rest, the promised land. But notice that the Psalmist says “today… Do not harden your heart.” Why does he say that? Because the promised land was pointing to something greater. It was not God’s final plan for “resting” His people. There is still a rest to come, and if we harden our hearts today, we will not see it. The rest that is to come is the rest Jesus spoke of in Matthew 11. It is for all those who come to God weary and burdened down with sin. Christ took our yoke upon Him and gave us His so that we might rest securely in the family of God.

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