Paul reminds these Jewish Believers of the consequences of their descendant’s unbelief. They were delivered from Egypt by the blood of the Passover Lamb (Salvation). They followed God’s man by God’s word to the Promised Land (Discipleship). When they were challenged with a crisis of belief (giants their eyes could see), their hearts failed because they looked to themselves rather than God who had delivered and led them. Rather than taking the land, they turned back which revealed a heart of unbelief. These are some of the lessons they learned during their 40 years of wilderness wandering (Carnality).
1. Disobedience to God’s word is proof of unbelief and a hard heart.
Heb. 3:15-19 “While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
2. There are physical consequences for unbelief.
“For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?”
3. There are spiritual consequences for unbelief.
“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
LESSON - The Promised Land is not a picture of Heaven, but a picture of perfect fellowship with God which is the fulfillment of obedience to God’s word. Disobedience is the revelation of one’s unbelief in one or more of God’s promises (His word). Their Jewish descendants had disobeyed God’s word at a key juncture and it cost them dearly. Paul was warning them, as well as us to not follow their example. When your eyes have a tendency to sway your feelings, let faith arise in your heart and obey the word of God regardless of the cost. It will costs you much less than the alternative.