Hebrews 4/June 16
“And God rested …from all His works” (Hebrews 4:4)
Chapter four continues from chapter 3. The author begins, “Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.” How come short? By refusing salvation through Jesus. Remember that the author is addressing a Jewish audience. They’ve been performing sacrifices and looking for a promised Messiah yet refuse to consider Jesus as being the One. In 3:1 he pleaded with his reader to “consider Jesus” first as One greater than Moses. The author then shifted to the peril of unbelief, and compares it to those who followed Moses out of Egypt but who really lacked belief in what Moses said. They didn’t really believe, they lacked faith.
The writer continues in chapter 4, “For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard” (4:2)
There now follows what could be an overlooked section that explains salvation as a thought out work of God from much longer prior than the cross.
“For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘as I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,’ (Psalm 95:11) although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: ‘and God rested on the seventh day from all His works’”. (4:3,4)
God resting from all His works is written in Genesis 2:2. If you read closely you will understand that the plan of salvation, the cross, the resurrection, was all completed of God from the very beginning. In the time of creation God literally created ALL things, including salvation. Jesus dying on the cross did not catch God by surprise, we know that- but even more so was when God decided as to how salvation would occur- from the very beginning.
We read that following His creation God rested for all things were done. And when one receives Christ as Savior they enter into the rest of God and there need no longer be any struggle in trying to figure out how to satisfy God, how to please Him. We are to enter into our relationship with God through Christ and then rest in it. It’s done, now live it! Continuing with the Hebrews, they didn’t enter into Gods rest, their history proves it. They continue to rebel, to sin, to turn against God and there was no rest. No peace because of disobedience. And the author of this book says of the Israelites, “‘they shall not enter My rest.’ Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, There is a certain fixed day on which to submit to God, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden you hearts.” (4:5-7) We are never promised a tomorrow, to put off God could lose eternity with Him.
“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”. (4:10,11).
How does the individual enter into this rest, this rest from works as did God from His? Once you recognize Christ as Savior you cease attempting to please God by good works or struggle in various religious ways to satisfy Him. You cease from sin (I Peter 2:24)- which most Christians say is impossible without giving it a shot of doing. As long as we find security in that God knows we cannot stop sinning, then we will feel comfortable in continuing to sin. We allow ourselves much more liberty than does God’s word.
The Christian enters into the rest of God by seeking holiness and striving with all effort to live a holy life. As long as we sin then we will rightfully be troubled within. Sin should trouble us, a lot. It should keep us from resting. As you seek the holiness of God then a peace, a rest, comes across the Christian- the peace of God that goes beyond comprehension (Philippians 4:7), why? It’s the rest of God, you know that you are right with Him for you are in Him in Christ.
Do you know such peace, or is your soul troubled within you? God is speaking to you, listen today.