Hebrews 3:7-8, ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…’
Why does the author of Hebrews cite Ps.95 (and so allude to Exodus 17) in this context? How does this situation apply to his readers? It would seem that the parallel to the ‘voice’ of Ps.95 / Ex.17 is the ‘great salvation’ (Heb.2:3) that ‘we have heard’ (2:1), namely, the salvation declared in—and which is—Jesus Christ who tasted death for everyone and is now—because of that death— crowned with glory and honor as King and High Priest, having destroyed him who had the power of death and having set free in Himself all those who were enslaved by fear of death (2:9-15).
The Gospel, the Word of the Cross, Jesus Christ Himself, crowned as the anastasiform King and Priest and Savior of all who hope in Him, THIS—it seems to me—is the ‘voice’ that we have heard and against which we dare not now harden our hearts. This is the New Covenant equivalent—and, indeed, is the always-intended fulfillment—of the self-anchored promise YHWH makes to His people in Exodus 6:6-8 and reminds them of in Ex.17 / Ps.95. Yes, the true and final ‘voice’—the voice that encompasses every word God has ever spoken—resonates in the flesh and blood of the Son (1:1-2). It is to this voice that we must now listen…it is toward this voice that we must not harden our hearts.
God’s voice is now a person, the Beloved Son, as He is declared in the message of the Gospel…and to hold fast to the hope that God has done this, and, in fact, IS ever and always this one for us—that is what it means, I believe, for us to not harden our hearts as in the rebellion.
So…today, if I hear His voice—and I hear it in the Gospel, I hear it in the resurrection of the crucified Lord, I hear it in the enthronement of the slain and risen One, I hear it in the intercession of my High Priest—today, if I hear His voice, may I not harden my heart against it…may I not act as though it were not true, or as though God were not the one I know through this great work of salvation, or as if I need further confirmation if I am to entrust myself wholly to Him…No, rather, may I believe it, may I trust it, may I hold fast to it…to Him.