Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we need to cover three matters: an evil heart of unbelief deserting the living God; the living word of God; and the parts of man. Hebrews 3:12 says, “Beware, brothers, lest there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief in withdrawing from the living God.” No heart is more evil than a heart of unbelief. Nothing offends God as much as our unbelief. David committed a dreadful sin, murdering a man and taking his wife. Governmentally speaking, however, this sin was not that serious, for it did not cause God to give up David. But the unbelief of the children of Israel in the wilderness caused God to give them up. Unbelief insults and offends God Himself. Every sin breaks God’s righteous law, but some sins do not insult God Himself, as does the sin of unbelief.
Our God is the living God. Unbelief is so evil because it insults the living, faithful, and almighty God. If we do not believe in God, in His work and in His ways, we insult Him. This is why we must beware of unbelief. Verse 10 says, “Wherefore I was disgusted with this generation, and I said, They always go astray in heart; and they have not known My ways.” God’s ways are different from His acts. His acts are His activities; His ways are the principles by which He acts. The children of Israel only knew His acts, but Moses knew His ways (Psa. 103:7). In the wilderness the children of Israel saw a miracle nearly every morning—the manna. If such a miracle would occur today, it would be publicized in newspapers throughout the world. Although the children of Israel witnessed such a miracle, they, unlike Moses, saw only the acts of God; they did not know God’s faithful, divine ways. We should not be like the children of Israel; we must learn the ways, the principles, of our God. When the children of Israel lacked food and water, they complained and murmured. When God acted on their behalf, they were happy temporarily, but not long afterward they offended God again. If we look at ourselves, we would not criticize them, because we would see that we are the same. We may shout, “Praise the Lord!” one night in a meeting and murmur against the Lord the next morning. How we need to know the ways of God! Our God is living and has His principles in doing things. He will never deny Himself. He is able, almighty, and faithful, always keeping His promises and fulfilling His word.
Although God is living and faithful, the evil heart is hardened against Him (3:8). In a sense, an evil heart is very reasonable; it reasons a great deal. However, in another sense, it is stubborn and without reason because it is hardened. Hence, it departs from the right track and goes astray, not knowing God’s ways or principles. It tries God by putting Him to the test (3:9). Eventually, such a heart is self-deceiving and will be deceived (3:13). This is the condition of an evil heart. Such an evil heart always issues from the hardening. How dangerous it is for our heart to be hardened! We need to pray again and again for the Lord to soften our heart, saying, “Lord, have mercy on me. Soften my heart and never allow it to be hardened.”
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