“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes the living God” (Hebrews 3:12 NET).
Having looked at the Old Testament example that our author references in Hebrews 3:7-11, we can now apply the message of verse twelve: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (NIV).
This portion of Scripture tells us that we should note the example of those who turned away from God in this manner and avoid copying their kind of “faith.” For example, those who departed from ancient Egypt saw God’s miraculous works but were unwilling to continue to put their trust in Him. That kind of “faith” is far different from the faith that God seeks.
You see, a genuine, God-honoring faith is demonstrated by our willingness to trust God, even when the circumstances appear to be unfavorable. This is important to remember, especially when we face obstacles that seem too big to handle. When that time comes, how will we choose to respond?
The author of Hebrews has labored to remind us that the Israelites of the Old Testament period were unwilling to trust God even though they saw His extraordinary works on their behalf. Thus, they provide us with an object lesson that demonstrates the wrong way to respond to the challenges we face in life. The citizens of ancient Israel who failed to place their trust in God never received the good things He planned for them because they preferred to live in fear rather than trust Him to help them to overcome the obstacles they faced.
On the other hand, a person with a God-honoring faith handles such problems differently. For instance, a faithful person is honest about the areas where he or she is fearful or may be falling short. Next, a faithful person seeks God’s help in continuing to trust Him to accomplish the things He wants to do in their lives. Finally, a faithful person asks God to supply the strength necessary to continue living the kind of life that is pleasing to Him.
So, the actions of these ancient Israelites demonstrated that their “faith in God” was not what it seemed. Therefore, we should take care to avoid their example and prayerfully ensure that we do not develop “…a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (GW).