7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” *
*paraphrase of Psalm 95:7-11
Oddly enough, Psalm 95:8-11 was the Verse/s of the Day on Tuesday December 12, 2017. So many of the comments today are from the comments of that day.
The Psalm did not have a title nor provide the name of the author. That is until they looked at what the Apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 4:7 (the next chapter for us) providing evidence David wrote the Psalm
God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Charles H. Spurgeon gave the Psalm the title The Psalm of the Provocation. Very appropriate as the first seven verses of the Psalm are praises about God to be sung to Him, but the last four – given above – are about how He can be and was provoked. These verses may be read as a warning against provoking God’s anger as well.
The warning is verse eight is against hardening one’s heart. Spurgeon makes the argument one can harden one’s heart, but not soften it. I disagree as with the Holy Spirit’s help many a heart has been softened. However, to soften one’s heart on one’s own is impossible or near impossible in my opinion. The warning is against willful, wanton, repeated, obstinate rebelliousness (Spurgeon) or Their hearts are always going astray. This even though God notes His anger was a result of being disobeyed though for forty years they had seen what I did (v9) for them.
Are we so different? We know all about Jesus the Christ. We have our Bibles, Bible studies, church services. So we have little or no excuse when we put off following God, accepting His Gift of Grace through His Son on the cross. Time does run out. It may run out today for some, tomorrow for others, or weeks, months, or years down the road, but time does run out. A friend of mine likes the saying, “Don’t wait until almost midnight to decide, the train may arrive at 11:30.” It is a great note of caution. The people that would become the nation of Israel rebelled and thought they could put their trust in God aside and refuse His instruction to take Canaan. As a result they got to wander in the desert for forty years.
We would do well to make sure we do not follow their example. Instead we should with great gratefulness accept the free Gift of Grace as offered making Jesus our Lord and Savior. Then doing our best to Walk With Jesus Daily.