See - Βλεπετε· Take heed, that ye refuse not him - the Lord Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, who now speaketh from heaven, by his Gospel, to the Jews and to the Gentiles, having in his incarnation come down from God.
Him that spake on earth - Moses, who spoke on the part of God to the Hebrews, every transgression of whose word received a just recompense of reward, none being permitted to escape punishment; consequently, if ye turn away from Christ, who speaks to you from heaven, you may expect a much sorer punishment, the offense against God being so much the more heinous, as the privileges slighted are more important and glorious.
See that ye refuse not - That you do not reject or disregard.
Him that speaketh - That is, in the gospel. Do not turn away from him who has addressed you in the new dispensation, and called you to obey and serve him. The meaning is, that God had addressed “them” in the gospel as really as he had done the Hebrews on Mount Sinai, and that there was as much to be dreaded in disregarding his voice now as there was then. He does not speak, indeed, amidst lightnings, and thunders, and clouds, but he speaks by every message of mercy; by every invitation; by every tender appeal. He spake by his Son Hebrews 1:1; he speaks by the Holy Spirit, and by all his calls and warnings in the gospel.
For if they escaped not - If they who heard God under the old dispensation, who refused to obey him, were cut off; notes, Hebrews 10:28.
Who refused him that spake on earth - That is, Moses. The contrast here is between Moses and the Son of God - the head of the Jewish and the head of the Christian dispensation. Moses was a mere man, and spake as such, though in the name of God. The Son of God was from above, and spake as an inhabitant of heaven. “Much more,” etc.; see the notes on Hebrews 2:2-3; Hebrews 10:29.
If the servants of God will walk with Him in faith, He will give power to their message. They will be enabled so to present His love and the danger of rejecting the grace of God that men will be constrained to accept the gospel. Christ will perform wonderful miracles if men will but do their God-given part. In human hearts today as great a transformation may be wrought as has ever been wrought in generations past. John Bunyan was redeemed from profanity and reveling, John Newton from slave dealing, to proclaim an uplifted Saviour. A Bunyan and a Newton may be redeemed from among men today. Through human agents who co-operate with the divine, many a poor outcast will be reclaimed, and in his turn will seek to restore the image of God in man. There are those who have had very meager opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew no better way, to whom beams of light will come. As the word of Christ came to Zacchaeus, “Today I must abide at thy house” (Luke 19:5), so the word will come to them; and those who were supposed to be hardened sinners will be found to have hearts as tender as a child's because Christ has deigned to notice them. Many will come from the grossest error and sin, and will take the place of others who have had opportunities and privileges but have not prized them. They will be accounted the chosen of God, elect, precious; and when Christ shall come into His kingdom, they will stand next His throne. COL 236.1
But “see that ye refuse not Him that speaketh.” Hebrews 12:25. Jesus said, “None of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper.” They had rejected the invitation, and none of them were to be invited again. In rejecting Christ, the Jews were hardening their hearts, and giving themselves into the power of Satan so that it would be impossible for them to accept His grace. So it is now. If the love of God is not appreciated and does not become an abiding principle to soften and subdue the soul, we are utterly lost. The Lord can give no greater manifestation of His love than He has given. If the love of Jesus does not subdue the heart, there are no means by which we can be reached. COL 236.2
Every time you refuse to listen to the message of mercy, you strengthen yourself in unbelief. Every time you fail to open the door of your heart to Christ, you become more and more unwilling to listen to the voice of Him that speaketh. You diminish your chance of responding to the last appeal of mercy. Let it not be written of you, as of ancient Israel, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.” Hosea 4:17. Let not Christ weep over you as He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Luke 13:34, 35. COL 237.1Read in context »