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So Close and Yet so Far

Hebrews 3:7-19 

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“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, [8] do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the desert, [9] where your fathers tested Me, tried [Me], and saw My works [10] for 40 years. Therefore I was provoked with this generation and said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.’ [11] So I swore in My anger, ‘They will not enter My rest.’ [12] Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. [13] But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. [14] For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. [15] As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. [16] For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? [17] And with whom was He ‘provoked for 40 years’? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? [18] And to whom did He ‘swear that they would not enter His rest,’ if not those who disobeyed? [19] So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” (HCSB)

 Recently I was reading a passage from one of my favorite authors that struck a chord with me.  He wrote, “The thing to remember when traveling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail.  Travel too fast and you will miss all you are traveling for.”  (

 OK, I can agree, with Louie L’Amour that the journey is important, but what if it never leads anywhere?  What if we spend our whole lives walking in circles and never arrive at our destination?  That’s exactly what happened to the Children of Israel.

 Life was tough in Egypt.  What started out as a blessing, quickly turned into a curse.  Joseph called his family into Egypt during the 7 years of famine that followed the 7 years of abundant harvest.  For years, God used the Egyptians to harbor his people and provide for them, but then a day came when Egypt had a Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph.  The large number of foreigners who were living in Egypt intimidated him, so he chose to enslave them lest they became powerful enough to pose a real threat to his throne.

 Times were harsh for the Children of Israel.  When they complained about having to make bricks, Pharaoh took away their straw, resulting in making their work even more difficult.  When God blessed them with children, Pharaoh killed their sons.  Times were brutal.  But God provided Moses—a deliverer for His people. 
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