Apostasy comes under consideration again in Hebrews 6:1-8, where from its treatment there, it cannot possibly be doubted that the author is warning his readers against a present real, and impending danger, a threat to any Christian who might allow an evil heart of unbelief to develop within him. Hebrews chapter 3 makes an important shift in topic. He went in before God and said, "God, I"ve had it. This idea of the house of God being the church, God"s people, where God dwells. The experience of Israel in the wilderness of wanderings was indelibly engraved upon the conscience of all the Jews, especially regarding the failure to enter the promised land, the shameful record of which was outlined expressly in their scriptures (Exodus 17; Numbers 13-14; Deuteronomy 9:10). The superior worth and dignity of Christ above Moses is shown. The statement that "all they" rebelled is hyperbole, exaggeration for the sake of emphasis; and, while it is true that Caleb and Joshua refused to be with the majority and survived to enter Canaan, "The exception was so small that the apostle had no scruple in saying that they all provoked God by their disobedience," as Barnes put it. The climate for the proper maintenance of faith is not exclusively produced by, nor does it depend solely upon, external conditions. In their birth, both became sons of virgin princesses, Moses through adoption by Pharaoh's daughter, Christ by means of the incarnation, and his birth by miracle, of the virgin Mary. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. Jesus, the Son, ruling over the house, the builder of the house. Both forsook the high status of their lives to perform a mission of rescue, Moses leaving the court of Pharaoh, and Christ leaving heaven. One might call that "the grasshopper complex" and find a great many examples of it today. SUMMARY.--Our Apostle and High Priest. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. It featured Peter's noble confession (Matthew 16:16); Caiaphas used it when he administered an oath to Jesus (Matthew 26:63); it was frequently in the writings of Paul (Romans 9:26; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:15; etc. Actually, three times within the text. In looking over the whole story of the sins of the Israelites, and of God’s dealings with them, one would be apt to fix upon some other causes of their exclusion from Canaan, as the Jews, their posterity, do at this day. This concept pervades the whole book of Hebrews and makes even the most sacred things on earth the mere copies of things in heaven. This basic unity of God's heavenly establishment, changed though the covenant was, is attested by the deliberate judgment of mankind in binding both the Old and New Testaments into a single volume to form the Bible. God gave them the right to enter Canaan immediately upon their coming out of Egypt, but through unbelief and disobedience they failed to enter, Never, perhaps, in human history is there so clearly outlined a case in which the religious and spiritual failures of a people issued so promptly and irrevocably in their temporal and physical poverty as well, leaving the lesson for all to see. ", "I wonder who built that house. I, p. 245. Jesus is superior to Moses 3:1-6. v1 Brothers and sisters in Christ … In Hebrews 2:17, Jesus had already been mentioned as a merciful and faithful high priest, and it is his "faithfulness" that needed stress here. Paul calls them, "holy brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling." Moses had been hearing this stuff for forty years, and he had had it. Concerning majorities, people should have the courage of Caleb and Joshua. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of … We"re unable to go in." Roddy put it squarely thus. So there is the prophetic aspect to the writings of Moses that were fulfilled in Jesus. and he who built all things is God. He took his rod and he smote the rock. ", "These things were all a shadow of things to come. It mocks the ship of Alexandria with the gentle zephyrs of the south wind (Acts 27:13), only to smite with the full fury of Euraquilo when the unwary ship has ventured out of its haven. (2) There may never be a tomorrow for any man. (7-13) And of necessity of faith in Christ, and of stedfastly following him. [8] Brooke Foss Westcott, op. Hebrews 3 – Jesus, Superior to Moses A. Who cares?" The word is always used in the plural, and we should note that we never hear of “Saint So-and-So.” 1 All God’s true people are called saints or … Both were transfigured, Moses on Sinai (Exodus 34:29,30), Jesus on Mount Hermon (Matthew 17:2). Those who believe and obey Christ partake of his righteousness, by imputation; receive the judicial discharge from their sins, by means of his sacrifice; and look forward to entering heaven itself by having become members of his spiritual body the church. In spite of the fact that the KJV translates this verse "believed not" instead of "disobedient," the English Revised Version (1885) is far preferable. Chapter 3 In this chapter the apostle applies what he had said in the chapter foregoing concerning the priesthood of Christ, I. It is an eleven-day journey from Mount Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea the scripture says, but it took them forty years. But here, the key to entering rest is revealed: belief. He said, "All right, because you"re not trusting in Me, you say that you"re afraid if you go in there your children will all be killed, I"ll tell you what. [15] H. B. Moffatt, The Biblical Illustrator (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967), p. 287. And if you"ve got a house, you have to have a builder of the house. ". Moses was faithful as a servant, Christ as a Son, over God's house. But Christ--was and is faithful ( Hebrews 3:2 ). Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build My church." They were used to the high priest going in on the Day of Atonement and making atonement for the sins of the people. [7] Encyclopedia Britannica, 1961Edition, Vol. In the prophecies about Christ, in the minute details of the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and in the definite instructions for all the feasts, sacrifices, and ceremonies of the Judaic system, all so faithfully delivered by Moses, the entire body of truth delivered by Moses foretold and eventually proved the redemptive ministry of Christ. The same sunshine melts butter and hardens concrete; and the same gospel saves some and destroys others (2 Corinthians 2:12). (5) The impulse to respond or obey may diminish or disappear. They don"t really enjoy the walk with the Lord as they should be enjoying it. We would have been better to have stayed in Egypt. When Solomon built the temple, he called it the house of the Lord. [6] W. H. Griffith Thomas, Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. This designation of Moses as a servant is founded on the word of God himself (Numbers 12:7); and this entitled the author of Hebrews to conclude that Moses was not the great lawgiver through any power and ability of himself alone, but that it was his capacity as God's representative and as a vessel for the conveyance of God's message that his noble work was achieved. "[11] The deceit of sin and also the deceit of the heart combine to visit ruin in people's lives. Moffatt commented on this in these words. They do always err in their hearts; but they did not know my ways. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), p. 59. This verse is engraved in letters of stone over the principal portal of the Central Church of Christ, Houston, Texas. The "generation" mentioned in Hebrews 3:10 is that of the Israelites who provoked God and were prohibited from entering the promised land. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. c. "Oh, come on, Lord. Thus the warning in this place is dramatically intensified by an appeal to the historic disaster that prevented a whole generation from entering Canaan. Moses couldn"t bring them into God"s rest, and so he quotes from this Psalm. The word wherefore immediately leads us back to that which is immediately preceding, and that is the declaration of the superiority of Jesus over the angels. c. We can"t do it. God just loves dwelling among His people. Hebrews 3 - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible . Both wrought many miracles, signs and wonders. It is with this very attitude that people are invited to consider Christ. Rather, here is a reference to the spiritual and eternal inheritance of Christians, as contrasted with the mortal and earthly goals of Judaism. Unbelief is indeed a sin, damning and destructive enough; but it is followed by overt and willful actions against the laws of God, such actions being of themselves fatal to the receiving of God's approval, no matter if founded in unbelief, as Israel's were, or not. One cannot pass this verse without regarding the essential unity of God's children in all ages. This passage shows that the exclusion of Israel grew out of moral necessity, their unbelief having betrayed them into outright rebellion against God. "If we hold our confidence steadfast to the end.". Moses, you misrepresented Me. The first miracle of each had a startling resemblance. Indeed, if there is no such thing as the possibility that a true child of God might fall away and be lost, how could the author of this epistle have introduced such a subject, and how could he have warned them to "take heed" against a non-existent danger? Christ's representation here as High Priest is a part of the argument for his superiority over Moses, who was not a high priest. But Moses was angry. (3) Still others have accepted a notion that it is impolite to speak of Christ, or faith, or religion; and, although it is possible that there are occasions or circumstances in which true politeness might omit the type of exhortation commanded here, yet this commandment is directed squarely at members of the family of God, Christians, and is applicable to all of them in the every day associations of life, like those in the family, in business, and in recreation. The word "works" in this place should be rendered in the singular, according to Westcott who observed that. It promises knowledge, as in the case of Adam and Eve, but provides with that knowledge a devastating sense of shame, guilt, and bitterness. Because He is superior over the angelic beings being the Son of God. The interesting thing to me, the glorious thing to me is that God desires to dwell with His people. Hebrews 3:8 has been an interesting example of a couple of Hebrew proper names being translated as common nouns, Meribah and Massah, being rendered "provocation and temptation." Commentaries for Hebrews Chapter 3 The Christian Hebrews reproved for their little progress in the knowledge of the gospel. (4) God has commanded obedience NOW. Resources » Commentaries » Hebrews » Chapter 3 » exegesis. It is strongly to be feared that it is forsaken. The question rises as to how their defection was applicable to the situation confronting the Christians to whom Hebrews was addressed. He was sick of their murmuring and so he went out and said, "You bunch of hypocrites, always murmuring and complaining. (1-6) The Hebrews are warned of the sin and danger of unbelief. The thought expressed is a teleological thunderbolt; it is the ancient and indestructible argument from design, bluntly and unequivocally stated, first in the truism that every house has a builder, and secondly in the deduction that the far greater house of the whole universe likewise has its builder who can be none other than God. Take heed, brethren, lest haply there should be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God. "Sorry, Moses." B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), p. 77. "I was angry." When this writer was once minister of Central Church of Christ, Houston, Texas, a brother placed his membership with that church one Sunday; and, for the first time, another brother in that same church learned that he had daily worked side by side with that other man for two years in a synthetic rubber plant. The most determined atheist, in his tenderest and most thoughtful hours, cannot escape the persuasive eloquence of that argument from design which demands a Designer. Nowhere else in scripture is the title of "Apostle" applied to Christ, but it certainly fits the office of our Lord as the official messenger from heaven, since the primary meaning of the word is "one sent or commissioned for some important communication"; and although the word "apostle" is not in other places used of Christ, the meaning of it surely is. He calls Jesus, "the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.". Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God ( Hebrews 3:12 ). ", "We can"t go in. One who takes the time to behold the beauty and majesty of the night sky is literally WITH THE STARS in his thoughts and emotions and cannot fail to receive deep impressions of awe, wonder, and appreciation. Perhaps the words "to the end" are unspecific on purpose in order to cover a range of meanings such as: (1) the end of a particular period of temptation; (2) the end of life; (3) the end of the world; and (4) perhaps even "the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:9). The heavenly nature of this calling is not seen merely in the fact that it came from heaven, for the Jewish system did also. (1) People have waited long enough already. As a result, the Jewish Christians who read this letter should see Christ as the ultimate example, and "hold fast" to faith in Him despite hard times. [11] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Biblical Illustrator (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967), p. 264. He Above Moses, as the Builder is Above the House. Just an awesome reality how God loves to dwell among His people. Partakers of a heavenly calling is a reference to the universal and eternal dimensions of the Christian vocation, which is a heaven-centered faith, its emphasis being emphatically upon the things in heaven, rather than upon the things of earth. Every house is built by some man. Moses was sinful, Christ is sinless (Deuteronomy 32:51,52; Hebrews 4:15). It promises light, but submerges the soul in outer darkness. While it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus. was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? The water came forth and the people drank. They sent spies into the land, of which ten came back with an evil report bringing fear into the hearts of the people, which ultimated in unbelief. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief ( Hebrews 3:15-19 ). ( 2 Chronicles 6:18 ). Throughout this passage (Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:5-6) “His house” must be taken in the sense of the quotation, as the house of God.Whereas Moses was faithful as a servant in this house of God, Christ was faithful as a son set over His Father’s house. In Hebrews 3, the writer turns ... Chapter 5 continues the priestly theme by looking first, in verses 1-4, at the necessary qualifications to serve as a priest. Those who had grown up and had been thoroughly trained in the religion of the Hebrews, in Judaism, who were used to having a high priest; used to the ceremonies in the temple; used to all of the regalia and the worship of the priesthood. Here again, as in Hebrews 3:6, is given the necessity for believers to continue faithfully and enthusiastically "to the end"; what end? In the Old Testament Israel was the house of God and the temple was known as the house of the Lord. "Yes, I am Moses." And it was through Moses that the tabernacle was set up and the dimensions and all declared. For he hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by so much as he that hath built the house hath more honor than the house. Hebrews, p. 88. Far more dreadful, therefore, was the danger threatening the Hebrew Christians who, if they fell away, stood to suffer the loss of even "all spiritual blessings" that are in Christ. The tragic case of that lost generation in the wilderness is of epic proportions. Shall we turn in our Bibles now to Hebrews the third chapter. He is deserving of more honor and glory. People have always counted it a privilege to fight and die for liberty, if need be; but here was a generation that simply could not bring themselves to do it. The Jews said to Moses, "Who made thee a ruler and judge over us" (Exodus 2:14). Again, our problem is our looking at our own resources and looking at the power of the enemy. By your obedience to the law, by your keeping the law, it will never bring you into rest. The Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus. (1) Some perhaps fail through natural timidity, but that is a weakness that should not be allowed to stand. And with whom was he displeased forty years? In fact, "confidence" contains the thought of "glorying"; and this is indicated by the translation "in this confidence of glorying" (2 Corinthians 11:17). Who are they? 18, p. 885. Whoever it was that wrote Hebrews is warning them, and if I slip and say Paul, you"ll know that that"s my opinion. The living God identifies the God of the Christians as the creator, upholder, and governor of all the universe; and this expression is used several times in the New Testament. How the Israelites Provoked God in the Wilderness. And I said, They have not known my ways, so I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."". (2) Some are ashamed of Christ. EasyEnglish is a system of simple English designed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). Wherefore, holy brethren (Hebrews 3:1), The word wherefore immediately leads us back to that which is immediately preceding, and that is the declaration of the superiority of Jesus over the angels. Moses delivered Israel from Egypt; Christ delivers from sin all who follow him. The second of these rules is in Hebrews 3:13; and it commands the entire Christian community, whether in the family, the congregation, or in other close and intimate contact, to "exhort one another day by day.". I can"t stand it. cit., p. 85. "Consider now the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, the Messiah Jesus.". He could not take them into the rest. I"m compassionate. First, the man who would wish to continue as a Christian should boldly speak of his faith, glorying in it every day, and seizing every possible chance to extol his love and appreciation of God, the sweetness of service in Christ, and every other joy and benefit of salvation (Hebrews 3:6). We are the royal priesthood. Is warning them to maintain their hope that they have come to in Christ and hold fast that confidence and the rejoicing of hope unto the end. [1] Thomas David Parks, The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1958), p. 74. It promises joy, but delivers wretchedness, shame, misery, and remorse. Such expressions as this, seeming at first to be indefinite, are often far richer in meaning than a more specific statement would have been. Any end whatsoever! Unbelief does not exist apart from antecedent evil in people's hearts. You can"t be serious." was it not with them that sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? Moses was only a man; Christ was and is both God and man. That Israel deserved to die instantly for their sin appears in the fact that God was ready thus to punish them but yielded to the intercession of Moses (Exodus 32:32). Charles Spurgeon, as quoted in Biblical Illustrator, noted that "When these two deceitful ones lay their heads together to make up a case, there is no wonder if man, like a silly dove, is taken in their net. An excellent instance of this is documented in the experience of Whitaker Chambers, who for a while was a militant atheist, but who yielded to the tender whispers of this argument when God spoke to him through the fantastic beauty and loveliness of his little daughter's ear. Reiterating the supremacy of Christ, the author, on the basis of a bold deduction, names Christians themselves as components of God's house, "whose house we are"! I"m not angry and upset. (See under Hebrews 1:8). Chapter Contents. Every house has a builder, the cause and effect, and the builder of all things is God. That is significant in that Moses being representative of the law through history, it is interesting to observe the fact that the law, or the works of the law, can never bring you into the place of rest in the Lord. Both made a marriage with the Gentiles, Moses literally, Christ in a figure, the Gentiles becoming a part of his bride (Numbers 12:1; Ephesians 5:25ff). Moses did not lead the people into the promised land; Christ does lead the people into glory. (3) The difficulty of obedience is only multiplied and compounded by delay. People's hearts are hardened by continuing in sin, procrastination, and by the gradual atrophy of spiritual perception brought on by the practice of disobedience. Hebrews: Bible Study and Commentary. And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, as a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken. Many times we find that it is our unbelief that keeps us from entering into that full rich life that God would have us to experience and to enjoy. What do the majority say about God, Christ, the church, baptism, the Lord's Supper, Christian living, sobriety, virtue, prayer, and piety? Moses gave bread from heaven to sustain physical life, Christ bread from heaven that gives and sustains eternal life. And if I would try and snow you and say, "Nobody built that house, just one day it appeared there. The rest of this verse is parallel to Hebrews 3:8 to which the reader is referred for notes. Moses a Servant in the House; Christ the Son. This is due to the fact that the proper names given by Moses to the places where those sad episodes took place came, in time, to have a broader meaning (Exodus 1:7). Now, He could dwell anywhere in the universe that He pleased, and He does fill the universe, but it is the Lord"s desire to come and to dwell among His people. We can"t take the land. For who, when they heard, did provoke? [10] T. Brooks, The Biblical Illustrator (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967), Hebrews, Vol. (3) They failed to manifest that essential self-respect which is an ingredient of all success, saying, "We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" (Numbers 13:33). He couldn"t take it any more. We have no water. You have to have one that built the church. One of the great heresies of the Reformation appeared in the doctrine of salvation by "faith alone" and the attendant notion that the only sin, actually, is unbelief. The overwhelming power of the admonition delivered by the Holy Spirit in this paragraph is seen in the rules, or techniques laid down, by which a truly successful Christian life may be achieved and strengthened. 1, 2. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), p. 41. Oh, that we would recognize the presence of God as He comes to dwell among His people. David, as the human instrument through whom the words came, is not mentioned; and thus the author of this epistle takes his place alongside other New Testament writers in making God the author of the Old Testament (2 Peter 1:21). They, somehow, were looking at their own resources and looking at the power of the enemy. Christ Superior to Moses. For Moses, a servant in the house bringing them the testimony of God and the law of God, could not lead them into the rest. Moses' mission pertained only to Israel, Christ's, ultimately, to the "whole creation" (Mark 16:15). It"s sort of a constant trial where God wants you to come into that fullness of the life in the Spirit and know the victory of the Spirit of God within your life, entering into that rich fullness of the Lord. Moses did not merely deliver the Judaic system of religion; but, in the sense that the flower is contained in the bud, he delivered the Christian system also, identified in this verse as "those things afterward to be spoken." On the other hand, it must be aided by and controlled by the attitude of the believer himself, who has the power to further and strengthen his own faith by a constant, bold, and optimistic proclamation of it. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all of his house. "Harden not your hearts," He said, "as in the day of provocation when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Always when we get our eyes off the Lord and onto the enemy, terror fills our heart, and unbelief. Hebrews 3:2-3. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. How may the stony heart be broken? For we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. Now Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after ( Hebrews 3:4-5 ); So Moses was faithful; he gave to us the laws of God. Bruce wrote: Bruce might have meant by that comment that a failure to continue means there was no reality to begin with, such being the thesis of Calvinism; but continuity must be viewed as a divinely imposed condition of salvation, upon the fulfillment of which destiny depends. Harden not your hearts is another admonition that affixes the responsibility and blame for hardness of heart upon the hardened himself. Moses, you are my representative to those people. Of only two have come down through history as repudiating the majority the soul in outer darkness that sinned whose. Are all pointing to Jesus. `` into rest of entering rest is revealed: belief,. 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