“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7) To better understand this scripture, we must realize that it speaks in shepherding terms. The writer of Hebrews is quoting David, “For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”. (Psalm 95:7-8)
We can better understand this important scriptural phrase by visualizing the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. A shepherd uses his voice to care for his flock. His calls lead them to pasture, water and shelter. In the same way, Jesus calls for souls to follow him.
When Jesus found Peter and Andrew the first thing he said to them was, “’Come, follow me,’… At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Matt 4:19)
“Finding Philip, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’” (John 1:43)
Mathew was busy collecting taxes, “’Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” (Matt 9:9)
When these men heard the voice of God calling to them they immediately responded, but not all followed. Therefore, the author of Hebrews warns us, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”