Lesson 04 : Stay Focused

Studies for Young People

In the Book of Hebrews

Theme: Stay Focused

Lesson 4:  The Warning Against

Hard Heartedness

In previous lessons, we have discussed that to Stay Focused we must:

First:  Realize that Jesus must be the center of our attention and keep a Jesus-First attitude.

Second: Realize that Jesus is the Son of God and worthy of our praise and how that praising Him takes our mind off of present circumstances.

Thirdly: Realize that Jesus died for you and me that we might have eternal life.

Lesson 4 starts by explaining that Christ is more worthy than Moses, because the Jews held Abraham and Moses in High Esteem from the Old Testament ways.  So the Writer had to emphasize and establish the fact that Jesus Christ was for better than they were.

Read Part of Our Text Hebrews 3: 1 – 6

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Also in Lesson 4, we must learn to stay focused by yielding to God’s leadership and giving Him complete control of our lives by trusting Him and doing His will.  To not do so is called rebellion and a sin against God.

Today we will look at the dangers of having a hard heart and going our own way and not doing the will of God.  Remember, the Hebrew Writer is writing the letter to Christian Jews who want to turn back to their old ways to avoid opposition with the crowd and persecution.  Therefore, the writer is telling them of the story of the rebellion of Israel at Kadeshbarnea when they refused to do what God said and what happened to them.

Dear Young Person, are you thinking of going against what you have been taught or told?

Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

Before we read our text from Hebrews Chapter 3, let’s review the Old Testament Story Found in Numbers Chapter 13 – Chapter 14 that the Writer of Hebrews is referring too.

(If you are familiar with the story, you can summarize the story and skip all the reading, BUT if you are NOT familiar with the story, you need to read it.)

This Story took place after two years after the crossing of the Red Sea, according to Numbers 9: 1 – 3.

And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.

Our Text: Numbers Chapter 13 – 14

The Command to Spy-out Canaan

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.

The Spies Chosen

And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

The Spies Sent

And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land.

The Spies’ Exploration

Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes. So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

The Spies’ Report of the Land

And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.  And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.

The Lord’s Response

And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

Moses’ Response

And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.

The Lord’s Response

And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.  And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.

Moses Delivers the Judgment

And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.

The Summary as given by the Writer of the Book of Hebrews and the warning against Hardening your Heart.

Read Our Text Hebrews 3: 7-19

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) (vs.12) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (vs.13) But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. (vs.17) But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  (vs.18) And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  (vs.19) So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Worksheet with Answers:

How to avoid a Hardened Heart

First the Causes:

Scan verses 7 – 19 and list words or phrases pointing to the cause of a hard heart.

1. Provocation or provoke

2. Temptation or tempted

3. Do always err in their hearts

4. Not knowing God’s ways

5. Unbelief or an evil heart of unbelief or them that believed not

6. Departing from God

7. Deceitfulness of sin

The Word Unbelief is mentioned several times.  What did they not believe?

They did not believe God’s Word.  He gave the Land to them, told them to take it and possess it.  They refused to believe His Word or to believe that He would be the one fighting the battle for them.

Second the Consequences

According to verse 17, what happened to the people who hardened their hearts?

Their “carcases fell in the wilderness.”  They died.

According to verse 18, what did they miss?

They could not enter into the rest God had for them in the Land of Canaan.

Thirdly, the Prevention

What does the Writer mean by “take heed” in verse 12?

Examine yourself and see if you are

going His way or Your way.

Proverbs 16: 25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

What remedy shows that we have a responsibility toward others in verses 13 – 14?

Verses 13 – 14 says “exhort one another daily…lest ye be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are all partakers together…”

How can you help others to not develop a hard heart?

By being accountable to one another, we can ask others for help or advice. By praying together, we can show concern for one another.

And by doing the work of the Lord together, we do His work rather than sitting idle and flirting with sin.

What area of your life do you need to yield to God’s guidance or leadership?

Right click link below and save as or save link as to download pdf…

Lesson 04 : Stay Focused

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One Response to Lesson 04 : Stay Focused

  1. evrtru says:

    i came here just to post this comment thanking you for posting these great articles.

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