Psalm 95: 8 “Today, if only you would hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness…”
The past week has been very thought provoking for me. I wrote last week, “A Victory for Love?” because I was very passionate about the issue of “rights”–my rights, your rights, everyone’s rights. I must confess, though, the real issue was my unshakeable belief God says homosexuality is a sin. I was feeling very self-righteous but as in every moment we pick on the sins of others, the mirror of God’s word reflects our own sin back on us.
I was reading Hebrews 4 for my devotions and three times in that chapter it makes reference to Psalm 95:8. It is a reference to hearing God’s voice and not hardening our hearts to him. Meribah and Massah are names God gave to Horeb–a place where the grumbling, complaining Israelites tested God by not trusting him for their personal, physical needs. It is the place God came to loathe the generation of Israelites he delivered from Egypt because they had no faith in him and did not listen to his voice.
Every Christian has opportunities every day to hear God’s voice delivered to us through the Holy Spirit. We are convicted of our sin and we are instructed on what we should do. When he speaks to us it is personal and applicable to our lives–not the lives and sins of others. When we refuse to acknowledge our sin and shortcomings, we are hardening our hearts just like the Israelites in Meribah and Massah. We make God angry by our refusal to hear his voice.
I have many sins and I am convicted of my failures every day yet it is more convenient for me to turn my focus to the sins of others and condemn them. How shameful! Jesus told us not to look at the speck in our brother’s eye when we have a plank in our own. Hebrews 4 tells us we will be judged for our own attitudes and sin–not the sin of our neighbor. We don’t have to accept or condone sin because God is the ultimate judge and he wants us to concentrate on our own guilty consciences.
When you hear God’s voice, you have two choices–listen and change or harden your heart and refuse to acknowledge him. We are not responsible for whether anyone else listens and obeys. Our responsibility is to hear God’s voice in our own life, evaluate and change and be an example to other people–not a judge.