“As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
This is a difficult concept for many non-believers and believers alike. Once the emphasis has been placed on the goodness of God and the great love of God, people have a hard time wrapping their arms around an angry God. We are trapped in our own emotions over which we have little control and try to understand the nature of God based on our personal understanding.
Regardless of our personal philosophy, God can be perfect love and good by nature and still have anger with that which is opposite of His nature. This is how He deals with sin. He loves the sinner but hates the sin. God offers mankind a way to separate himself from sin, and thus receive His love, but when man refuses to take advantage of this offer from God, he is left covered by sin and thus comes under the wrath of God.
The penalty of sin involves the wrath of God. Even a casual look at God’s interaction with those in the Bible shows the extent God goes to in order to rescue man from himself. He doesn’t want any to be lost, but He will allow them to miss His rest if that is their choice. It was the choice of the children of Israel. As we see in the next verse, the possibility of losing God’s gifts is real. Even the saved can choose to leave God through a life of disobedience to His word. If they do, they will lose the right to the promise.
Task for Today: Do not think that you can take advantage of the love of God by treating Him with disdain because you think you have heaven locked in. Understand that you can remove yourself from His covenant of promise by your disobedience. Today you can relax in the knowledge that He will never forsake you or withdraw His love from you. But while you are contemplating that thought, understand that you can fall away from God. By that, I mean that you will initiate and maintain the action, not God.