Prayer for the day
I hate those who have a divided heart, but your law do I love.
Scripture for the day
“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
This seemingly simple exhortation from the writer of Hebrews is repeated over and over again, and because of its repetition, we get a sense that this is one important phrase. The writer brings us back to this phrase a few times in order that its point and importance would not be lost on the hearer.
The phrase is important as a whole, but also important as a sum of its parts. “Today.” The writer of Hebrews seems to know the propensity of humans to put off what doesn’t seem vital or immediate. To counter this, he quotes the scripture clearly: “Today.” The desire of the writer is to present the immediacy of the decision to listen to God’s voice and soften our hearts accordingly. We ought not to wait, the writer says, but we ought to change our hearts as quickly as possible.
Not only do we need to change today, but we need to change when we hear His voice. God has been speaking His plan and will to humans since the beginning of time, and we as His creation have refused to listen, refused to heed His voice. Instead, we have listened to our own sorry and wicked counsel, believing ourselves capable of good things.
Jeremiah’s constant call to the people, to the kings, to anyone who would listen, was exactly the same. “God is speaking. LISTEN!” The people of God, true to their nature (and ours), refused, and instead did whatever seemed best. It led them into pain, suffering, and exile. Yet even in that deprived state, God continued to speak to them.
Let us pay attention to that voice. Today, if you hear the voice of God, do not harden your heart.