Google+ 04/28/13 Watch Out For The Dreaded Hardened Heart!

Psalm 95 

If only you would listen to his voice today!
The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,  as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw everything I did.
For forty years I was angry with them, and I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.’ So in my anger I took an oath:
‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
 

 

As we continue with part two of yesterday's devotion, the mood suddenly changes.  Following our "call to worship and prayer," there is now a warning to all of us that are worshipers.  We are told to not fall prey to the "hardening of our hearts" that was present in our ancestors.  This may be the most prudent advice God could give to all of us.  If you have been around churches for any length of time, I promise that you have heard the following statement in answer to any procedural inquiry by any member of a Local New Testament Church.  Often when we ask a question about how or why things are done in a certain way, the answer that is most often given is, "We have always done it that way," or "We have done it that way for the last twenty years!"   A very important minister in my life used to have a response for these two statements that was very bold and extremely true.  He would answer by saying, "Is it possible that you have been doing it wrong for that entire length of time?"  If you think that is bold, let's look at God's response.  David explains that God wrestled with our ancestors for forty years.  David says God was angry with their disobedience.  This answers the question as to why we should avoid the "hardening of our hearts" at all costs.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to wrestle with God anymore and I don't want Him angry at me because I refuse to "get it!"  Notice God says that they tested and tried His patience, even though they saw everything He did.  Wow, what a statement that is!  God is saying that we can't play the "ignorance card" since we know everything He does for us.  Are you ready for the most humbling statement of all time?  God says that He has taken an oath and will never let our ancestors into His place of rest!  No second chances?  Of course there are with God, but only under the following circumstances, so listen carefully.  God will not tolerate our disobedience when we know who He is and what He wants from us.  If we are practicing Christians, we know what God wants from us.  Read Matthew 28.  We should be going into the world, teaching everyone about Jesus, making disciples of all nations, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  That's it!  No excuses.  The next time you are inclined to "choose poorly," remember this Psalm.  The same God that we are to honor with our shouting and singing, will divorce us in a heartbeat if we choose constant and persistent disobedience.  Our salvation is not a "get out of jail free card," with no obligation on our part.  Jesus died for our sins so that we would have eternal life, but don't forget the other part.  Jesus told us that no one can come to the Father but through Him.  Heed the warning of Psalm 95 and don't repeat history.  Watch out for the dreaded Hardened Heart!