“See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.”
What does ‘refuse him’ mean? How did the Jewish nation refuse God? Could we not sum their response to God with one word, disobedience? God made sure they heard Him with a list of blessings and curses. From the very start of the exodus, they were reminded of the promises of obedience and the dangers of failing to do so. They did not obey, and each time they disobeyed, they paid a consequence. We have a very thick book of books illustrating this very fact, and the Hebrews read it from their youth.
Everything about the new nation of Israel is superior to the old. Every part is better, and so the writer compares God speaking on the earth with God speaking from heaven. If they did not escape a voice from earth, how can the Christian escape a voice from the throne room of God? Disobedience or the failure to obey is a serious matter and will be dealt with in the same serious way.
Task for Today: You cannot have faith in God and not obey God. Obedience is the evidence of faith. To fail to obey is a sign, you lack faith and is a sure way to face the wrath of God. There is no life in a faith that does not respond to God’s commands. What separates faith from belief is obedience. Baptism, for instance, is not a work but an example of obedience. It, baptism, is commanded by Jesus.