“And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?”
Here is a great example of cause and effect. The long-lasting rebellion of sin provoked God to deny the sinners His promise. Because of this provocation, they died on the wrong side of the River Jordan. This verse, along with many others, is sufficient to deny the proposition that because God is a God of love, He will not send anyone to hell but will save everyone regardless of their obedience or lack thereof.
The author of our book is making a point that we would do well to grasp. Sin has a punishment assigned to it, and those who live and die in sin will suffer that punishment. Not because God wants it that way but because the sinner leaves Him no choice. God doesn’t want anyone of His creation to be lost. He sent His Son to prevent anyone from being lost. But, the saving of the Son is not unconditional but rather has strings attached.
To benefit from the gift of the Son, those who wish to be saved must obey the will of God. No different than in the wilderness. With whom was God provoked to the point of letting them die in the wilderness? It was those who refused to obey. This great book is making the same point for those who want to be saved by Jesus. Obey Him or enter the wrath of God.
Task for Today: Understand two things. One, God wants you to enter the promised rest. Two, He will not force you to do so. You have a choice just like the wilderness wanderers. It wasn’t that they sinned it was that they continued to sin in spite of all He tried to do for them. Their sin was rebellion. Don’t rebel against God. Trust Him and obey Him.