Hebrews 3:7-19

A place where God's people can rest

7 God's Holy Spirit says this:

‘You must listen when you hear God speak today.

8 Do not refuse to obey him.

Do not be like God's people many years ago.

When they travelled in the wilderness, they turned against me.

They wanted to see if I would punish them.

9 For 40 years your ancestors saw the great things that I did.

But still they did not obey me.

10 That is why I became angry with them.

I said, “They always want to do what is wrong.

They refuse to understand my message.”

11 Because of that, I promised to punish them.

Because I was angry with them, I said,

“They will never arrive in my special place of rest.” ’

3:11Many years before, Moses led Israel's people away from Egypt, where they had been slaves. God wanted to bring the people to their own country, where they could make new homes. He wanted them to rest there. He wanted them to be happy. But they had to walk a long way through a wilderness to get there. The people were often angry with God. Many times, they would neither believe God nor obey him. See Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 14:1-35. So God did not let those people go into the country that he had promised them. He waited 40 years, until all of them were dead. Only their children arrived in the new country.

12 So be careful, my Christian friends. Do not refuse to trust God. That would be a very bad thing to do. Do not turn away from the God who lives for ever. 13 Instead, help each other to be strong every day. Today, you can still hear God's message. While that is still true, do not refuse to obey God. Do not think that sin will not hurt you. That is a lie. 14 We must continue to trust Christ very well, as we did when we first believed in him. We must continue to trust him until the end of our lives. Then we will share in everything that is his. 15 We have seen what the Bible says:

‘You must listen when you hear God speak today.

Do not refuse to obey him.

Do not be like God's people many years ago,

when they turned against God.’

16 Who were those people who heard God speak? All of them were the people that Moses led away from Egypt. They heard God's message, but they refused to obey him. 17 Who was God angry with for 40 years? He was angry with those same people. They did what was wrong. So they died and their bodies remained in the wilderness. 18 God promised to punish them, because they refused to obey him. He said, ‘They will never arrive in my special place of rest.’

19 So we must be careful ourselves! Those people did not trust God. As a result, they never arrived in God's special place.