Jesus Creed

Hebrews uses the term “wrath” twice and both times it is a quotation from Psalm 95:11:
In a warning passage, the writer of Hebrews warns the audience to press on in faith and obedience and warns the readers by reminding them of the wilderness generation and he does so by re-using the words of the psalmist who was similarly warning his generation:
3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
?Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10 for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ?They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.?
11 As in my anger I swore,
?They will not enter my rest.??
12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ?today,? so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
?Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.?
16 Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17 But with whom was he angry forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

1. The followers of Christ enter into the “rest” the wilderness generation did not enter. This puts this into the realm of history, but it is a spiritual-historical reality. (The meaning of “rest” is disputed and it doesn’t matter here; at some level it refers to the final blessing of God.)
2. God’s wrath prevented the wilderness generation from entering into that rest.
3. Wrath in this text refers to something God in the long-ago past and that wrath was a historical wrath.

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