By Patrick Hawthorne
Reading Hebrews chapters 2 and 3, I felt an unction from the Holy Spirit to stop, back up, read the verses again and re-read them till I understood what it was He wanted me to grab hold of. The following is more of a meditation of thought than anything else. I am by no means being dogmatic. I’m simply thinking out loud, so to speak, through this post.
Thousands of years ago, there was a generation chosen by God to inhabit the land of Israel. This generation, seeing the display of God’s wrath upon their Egyptian persecutors, was physically ushered out and away from the bondage of Egypt. This ushering was to be a relatively short journey from a foreign land to the land they would call home. Yet, because of a certain discomfort that often accompanies change, an entire chosen generation of people, through disobedience and the hardening of their hearts, became the unchosen generation.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me and saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:7-19 NKJV bold/underline mine)
God had a plan and a purpose for an entire generation. His desire was for them to experience His goodness and to enter into His rest. Yet, an entire generation of people missed out because of their unbelief. Even though they saw miracle upon miracle, they hardened their hearts to such a degree that they totally shut God out. So, who did experience His goodness? It was the children of that chosen/unchosen generation.
Now, think about the status of the Church – the Body of Christ as a whole – for a moment. Over the past forty years or so, the Main-Stream Church has seemed to be in a spiritual slump. We have witnessed a generation of unbelief and hardness of heart flowing from many of our pulpits, straight through the isle of the congregation, and out the doors, spewing into our streets. The Main-Stream Church, for the most part, has appeared dead and lifeless, indistinguishable from the rest of the world.
Yet, amidst the rot and decay, I am beginning to sense a sprouting forth of new life; the birth of a renewed call for holiness. I’m sensing a few Joshua’s and Caleb’s standing up among the dry and decaying bodies of the living – yet lifeless – corpses saying, “Use me Lord, I will go in Your holy name.”
Could it be that we are seeing the birth of that generation who will usher in the glorious appearance of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Could it be that we might be that generation who is able to enter into His rest? Interesting thought, isn’t it? Be blessed.