Our Savior is greater than our suffering. Here, those who had fallen back into Judaism were compared to those who wouldn’t move forward at Kadesh-barnea (Hebrews 4), and the writer is saying that the reason they keep looking back is that they have not moved forward in their understanding of the superiority of Christ. Knowing Christ more fully makes us realize that He is easily worth having to deal with anything we have to while on this earth.
The question remains today: when the chips are down will we want to have our comfort, or will we take on the giants even when no one else is coming with us? Do we trust and treasure Christ? For those that are maturing the answer is a lot easier than for those who don’t understand the character of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whatever we do ought to reflect who He is, but when we only understand that superficially, it only takes superficial things to knock us down, keep us down, or turn us away.
We know God is almighty but we need to understand HOW He is the most and all mighty, why He is the way He is, what His plans and promises are. When we can truly see His radiance everything else looks dull. We say we understand that but we don’t practice ourselves to further understand that. They were dull because they saw Christ as dull, not as bright as He truly is, that is why the writer wanted to go on to understand the perfections of Christ but they weren’t even ready for that yet, they were worrying about their friends first.
Yes we should be concerned about our unsaved friends, big time, but these were friends who had been in the camp and then turned away and were enticing them to turn away also. They were not really friends but frauds, and it was time to move forward not fall back. They couldn’t take the others with them and they couldn’t wait around any longer for them. There comes a time and it is when they are influencing you more than you are influencing them. When in doubt the time has run out. If you continue to move forward you will see them fall away anyway, don’t stop moving toward God and godliness. You’ve been blessed; don’t look back. You have to make a choice; standing still isn’t a choice.
Christians must grow; they become disciples or deserters. These Hebrews weren’t learning (vs.11), they weren’t skilled (vs.12-13) and they weren’t developed (vs.14). It is no wonder they were having trouble. It is no wonder some stay still or fall back because they haven’t grown up! Staying still is not really an option because those who have fallen back will beckon you back, and situations will only make it worse. We can fail to discern that we are falling back, we will just move on but not forward, avoiding trouble as best we can, but we aren’t as smart as we think we are, and we are in trouble, and we will see blessing and suffering in the wrong way. Have you had an eye exam lately?