In chapter 3, the author of Hebrews exhorts us to believe God and not fall into unbelief.
[Heb 3:7-9] (Psalm 95) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.
- Bringing the People out of Egypt
- Crossing the Red Sea
- The children of Israel crossed the Red Sea in just one night.
- 3 million people, double file, would be a line 568 miles long.
- This would take 25-39 days and nights to cross.
- To cross in one night would require the sea to part by at least 3 miles to allow the Israelites to cross 5000 abreast.
- God’s people ate daily
- Averaging 2 lbs. of food per person
- 3,000 tons of food per day
- Plus food for livestock
- This would require the equivalent of one daily freight train full of food and 4.7 miles long
- It is estimated they would need 5,000 tons of wood/combustibles per day to cook their food.
- This is equivalent to one train approximately 6-7 miles long each day.
- You can sweat nearly two quarts per hour walking in 108 degree heat.
- Walking in the Sinai Wilderness for eight hours during the heat of the day could require 4 gallons of water per person.
- Counting children the average amount of water needed per day could be 3 gallons or more.
- The people in the wilderness needed nearly 9,000,000 gallons of water each day.
God provided in the wilderness
- When they arrived at the border to the Promised Land Moses sent 12 spies to scope out the land.
- Ten returned with a report that ignored everything God had done for them already. They disbelieved His promise.
- Two returned ready to let God lead.
- Out of the original 3 million who left Egypt, only two survived to enter the Promised Land.
[Exo 17:1-7 NKJV] Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but [there was] no water for the people to drink.
Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, "Give us water, that we may drink." So Moses said to them, "Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?"
And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, "Why [is] it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"
So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!"
And the LORD said to Moses, "Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go.
"Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
So he called the name of the place Massah (tempted) and Meribah (Contention), because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"
40 YEARS LATER
[Num 20:1-5 NKJV] Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there. Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: "If only we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!
"Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here?
"And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It [is] not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor [is] there any water to drink."
[Heb 3:10-11] Therefore I was angry (προσοχθίζω: disgusted) with that generation, And said, 'They always go astray in [their] heart, And they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.' "
[Heb 3:12-13] Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
- Unbelief separates us from God.
- exhort one another daily: Why? What does that look like?
- Deceitfulness of sin: What is it?
[Heb 3:14-15] For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion (provocation))."
[Heb 3:16] For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, [was it] not all who came out of Egypt, [led] by Moses?
[Heb 3:17-18] Now with whom was He angry forty years? [Was it] not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?
What can we learn during our desert experiences?
To obey is better than sacrifice.
[Heb 3:19] So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
This is the reason many will not enter into heavenly rest.