Psalm 109:21-31 The Voice (VOICE)
21 But You, my Master, the Eternal,
26 Help me, Eternal One my God; come to my rescue!
Ezekiel 20:1-17 The Voice (VOICE)
The Davidic monarchy is the vine, and the branches are the strong monarchs. Zedekiah is the tallest branch. His failures will consume the dynasty, leaving nothing but charred remains.
20 During the seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, on the tenth day of the fifth month, some of the elders of Israel approached me and sat down in front of me, wanting good news from the Eternal One. 2 The word of the Eternal came to me with a message for them.
Eternal One: 3 Son of man, talk to the elders of Israel, and tell them I have a question: “Have you come to ask questions of Me? As surely as I, the Eternal Lord live, I will not allow you to question Me.”
4 Will you pass judgment on them, son of man? Will you judge whether they have been serving other gods? Confront them about the shocking acts of their fathers, 5 and tell them the Eternal Lord says that on the day I selected Israel, made an oath to the descendants of Jacob’s family, and revealed Myself to them in Egypt, I lifted My hand and swore to them, “I am the Eternal your God.” 6 On the same day, I swore to them that I would rescue them from the land of Egypt and take them to another land I had looked for and found just for them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most splendid of all lands. 7 And I said to them, “Get rid of all the vile images that captivate your eyes, and do not degrade yourselves with the idols of Egypt! I am the Eternal your God.” 8 But they rebelled against Me and refused to heed My warnings. They kept staring at the vile images and worshiping the idols of Egypt.
I was just about to pour out My anger upon them and express My wrath while they were still in Egypt, 9-10 but for the sake of My good name and reputation, I decided against it. I thought it better not to profane My name in the eyes of those nations around where My people lived. After all, I had revealed Myself to them when I brought My people out of the land of Egypt and into the wilderness. 11 I gave them My laws and commandments so that if they would follow them, they might live. 12 I also gave them My Sabbaths as a sign that they would know that I, the Eternal One, have made them holy. 13 But the Israelites rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They refused to follow My laws and ignored My commandments, even though they knew the one who follows them will live. They also polluted My Sabbaths and treated them like any other day.
So I said I would pour out My anger upon them and destroy them in the wilderness. 14 For the sake of My good name and reputation, however, I chose not to profane My name in the eyes of those nations who had witnessed Me bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. 15 Also, I raised My hand and swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most splendid of all lands! 16 I swore this to them because they ignored My rules and strayed from My laws and polluted My Sabbaths; for they were completely devoted to their idols. 17 I looked on them with mercy, and I did not destroy them in the wilderness.
Hebrews 3:7-4:11 The Voice (VOICE)
For the first-century Jewish-Christian audience, Moses is the rescuer of Hebrew slaves out of bondage in Egypt—the receiver of God’s law and the covenant. They remember how he shepherded the children of Israel safely through the desert for 40 years and led them to the brink of the promised land. He was indeed a remarkable man. Yet what Jesus has accomplished for everyone—not just the Jews—is on a totally different level. Moses was indeed faithful to God and accomplished a great deal as God’s servant. Jesus, too, is faithful to God, but He has accomplished what Moses could not because He is God’s very own Son.
7 Listen now, to the voice of the Holy Spirit through what the psalmist wrote:
Today, if you listen to His voice,
12 Brothers and sisters, pay close attention so you won’t develop an evil and unbelieving heart that causes you to abandon the living God. 13 Encourage each other every day—for as long as we can still say “today”—so none of you let the deceitfulness of sin harden your hearts. 14 For we have become partners with the Anointed One—if we can just hold on to our confidence until the end.
15 Look at the lines from the psalm again:
Today, if you listen to His voice,
16 Now who, exactly, was God talking to then? Who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it all of those whom Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for an entire generation? Wasn’t it those who sinned against Him, those whose bodies are still buried in the wilderness, the site of that uprising? 18 It was those disobedient ones who God swore would never enter into salvation’s rest. 19 And we can see that they couldn’t enter because they did not believe.
4 That’s why, as long as that promise of entering God’s rest remains open to us, we should be careful that none of us seem to fall short ourselves. 2 Those people in the wilderness heard God’s good news, just as we have heard it, but the message they heard didn’t do them any good since it wasn’t combined with faith. 3 We who believe are entering into salvation’s rest, as He said,
That is why I swore in anger
even though God’s works were finished from the very creation of the world. 4 (For didn’t God say that on the seventh day of creation He rested from all His works?[c] 5 And doesn’t God say in the psalm that they would never enter into salvation’s rest?[d])
There is much discussion of “rest” in what we are calling the First Testament of Scripture. God rests on the seventh day after creation. In the Ten Commandments God commands His people to remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy, and do no work. By letting go of daily work, they declared their absolute dependence on God to meet their needs. We do not live by the work of our hands, but by the bread and Word that God supplies.
But a greater rest is yet to come when we will be released from all suffering, and when we will inherit the earth. Jesus embodies this greater rest that still awaits the people of God, a people fashioned through obedience and faith. If some of us fail to enter that rest, it is because we fail to answer the call.
6 So if God prepared a place of rest, and those who were given the good news didn’t enter because they chose disobedience over faith, then it remains open for us to enter. 7 Once again, God has fixed a day; and that day is “today,” as David said so much later when he wrote in the psalm quoted earlier:
Today, if you listen to His voice,
8 Now if Joshua had been able to lead those who followed him into God’s rest, would God then have spoken this way? 9 There still remains a place of rest, a true Sabbath, for the people of God 10 because those who enter into salvation’s rest lay down their labors in the same way that God entered into a Sabbath rest from His.
11 So let us move forward to enter this rest, so that none of us fall into the kind of faithless disobedience that prevented them from entering.