Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hebrews 3:7-11 Cross Referenced with Numbers 20

3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, [1] you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's [2] house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. [3]
A Rest for the People of God

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
-Hebrews 3:1-14 (ESV)

The writer of Hebrews 3 is quoting Psalm 95:7b-11

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.”

This big difference from the quote in Hebrews and the Psalm is that the Hebrews passage has the meaning of the names Meribah and Massah. Though I had read Hebrews 3 several times this week to prepare for class, I did not catch that this Psalm and the book of Hebrews is making reference to Numbers chapter 20. In this story the people quarrel with Moses for bringing them out into the desert. They name the places "rebellion" and "temptation".

There is a big debate on what Hebrews 3 means, but we have a solid example of what it does mean. People are called to trust and worship God but instead they quarrel.
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