Scripture: “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it (the Rest of God), and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day (“Today”) saying through David so long afterward—in the words already quoted: Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
For if Joshua had given them rest God would not have spoken of ANOTHER day later on.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest of the people of God—for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (And) No creature is hidden from His sight but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we much give account.” Heb 4:6-13
Observation: I think what the Writer is addressing is RESPONSE. How should the Hearer/Reader respond to the Holy Spirit? What does “His Rest” mean or is defined?
Application: Sometimes I wish there was a Dummies Guide…give me 10 good bullet points—maybe 5 so I can get what the Holy Spirit is saying without too much time invested. After all, I have things to do, places to go, people to see…
But that is not the way God gives us His Word. He means for me to immerse myself in, search for Him in, devour his Word like a desperate, starving man.
Ok, that may be a little too much theater—but not by much.
What is the Rest the writer is speaking of? Simple answer: the Gospel. But what about the Gospel is Rest referring to?
The Sabbath was instituted to set aside one day a week for the nation of Israel to focus on God. That is a very broad and general statement but essentially accurate. It is a “rest” of works—doing stuff to gain favor particularly with God. “If I do this, God will do that…” and usually the thought is about acceptance and favor of God towards me. It is a “balance sheet” theory of moral accounting; a theology of Value Transaction as it applies to Heaven.
Yet, that is NOT anywhere close to the Gospel. The Son did the Work required to cover sin. Done. Rested. My response is to have faith, have confidence that He did that for me—and to live my life DAILY (not one day per week) in that Faith. Done. Enter the Rest of the everlasting Sabbath and forget Transactional Theology.
There is a dichotomy in the verse: “Let us therefore STRIVE to enter that REST…” Why the dichotomy? Because I am eaten up with Sin still and need to apply effort to remembering and applying the Gospel in every aspect of my life.
Prayer: Lord God, my Lord: Thank you for the Cross. Forgive me for not remembering the Cross; for not striving to enter that Rest. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Word that convicts me and keeps my eye singly on You. Help me to surrender to you in every aspect of my life—and please don’t let this just be words in my mouth. Put some teeth into this wish. AMEN.