7787 - Lost Generation
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Our Bible study is now focused in Hebrews, chapter 3. Today we talk about a lost generation.
First, listen to Hebrews 3:15-17:
As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?
These verses are talking about the Israelite men who were twenty years old and older who came out of slavery in Egypt. They were led by Moses. They were a stubborn group who resisted Moses many times as they journeyed to the land God had promised them in Cannan.
We have recently reviewed how as they were camped in the Desert of Paran, the Lord instructed Moses to send men to explore the land of Canaan which He was giving to the Israelites. A man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel was chosen, and instructed to go and see what the land was like. They were also to take notice of the people in the land, and the towns in which they lived, the crops and the fruits of the land.
The twelve spies made their trip and at the end of forty days returned with a report. They said that this land was a land, which flowed with milk and honey.
But then ten of the spies expressed doubt and unbelief of God as they said that the people were powerful and the cities were fortified and very large. Even giants lived there.
But God had two among these twelve who were strong in their trust of the Lord. Joshua and Caleb came before the people and gave a minority report. These two admonished the people, that God could certainly deliver these people of Canaan into their hands if that was his desire. They sought to convince the people of God’s power and faithfulness. They remembered it was God who made the promise, and they believed he would keep his word.
The Lord was aroused against these people when they continued these attitudes. God called their actions rebellious unbelief. In spite of all the miracles that they had seen God perform they did not believe he could or would protect them in entering and claiming the Promised Land, which he had promised to them.
The people began to moan: “If only we had died in Egypt or in the desert!” And they accused God of bringing them to the land to let them be killed with the sword.
God doesn’t ignore sin. Rebellion raises God’s anger. God desires that his children share in his holiness, so he applies the appropriate discipline to steer us toward righteousness and holiness.
After hours of complaint from the Israelites, God’s anger was expressed in the declaration that this generation of adult men who were 20 years of age or older would never enter His rest, which was anticipated in the promised land. This whole congregation would wander in the desert for forty years while these men died off and the youth grew up. Then the next generation would claim the promise.
Truly this generation of men was a lost generation. There was no hope of better blessings. Only Joshua and Caleb from this generation were kept by God to see the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Let us remember that these events of history occurred some 1500 years before the book of Hebrews was written, so the exhortation was not for the children of this lost generation. No! These words were given by God for the benefit of the generations, which would read and study this book of the New Testament throughout the age of grace. So these things are written for our benefit, so that we would not be ignorant of these deep truths.
Likewise the challenges and warnings communicated in this book apply to every believer throughout the age of grace. We too are warned not to harden our hearts as did those in the lost generation, and not to have an unbelieving heart which robs believers of many blessings.
Let those of us who make up our present generation be conscious of desiring to trust God and obey his words. His blessings come to those kind of people.