April 27, 2021 – Tuesday
Hebrews 4:3 NIV
3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest.’”*
And yet His works have been finished since the creation of the world
*[from Psalm 95:11]
Chapter three was all about how Jesus is greater than Moses. Plus how the people rebelled against Moses and spent 40 years wandering because of their rebellion before entering the promised land. Thus, if it was bad to rebel against Moses, how much worse it would be rebel against Jesus and risk not entering the new creation.
With this in mind, chapter four begins with a warning in verses one and two, Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Then verse three address those are putting their trust in God and the good news of Jesus, Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest.’”
Notice the importance of faith, we who have believed enter that rest. Unbelief kept the Israelites from entering the promised land and unbelief can keep them from entering into His rest as well. If you are not sure what God’s rest is, Guzik gives us the five features described by the Puritan John Owen; rest means peace with God; means freedom from a servile, bondage-like spirit in the worship and service of God; means deliverance from the burden of Mosaic observance; means the freedom of worship according to the gospel; and means the rest that God Himself enjoys.
If you were a bit confused by the rest of verse three, that is understandable. After all, after learning we who have believed will enter into His rest, we read, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest.’” And yet His works have been finished since the creation of the world. Looking at the end of this verse first we can determine this quote from Psalm 95:11 shows us this rest is indeed God’s rest and that He finished His work, including this rest, well before Israel came into being and before David wrote Psalm 95. Thus, when God says, My rest. He is speaking of His initial creation. Those who do not believe, They shall never enter My rest, says God.
The book of Hebrews was written to encourage Christian Jews for what awaits as well as to caution them against a belief without faith, without trust in the promises of Jesus. A close reading shows these words are just as applicable to any and all who believe, they will enter His rest. The same close reading shows anyone, Jew or Gentile, who does not believe will not enter into His rest.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me keep my heart trusting and full of faith in the gospel of Your Son. I believe in His message of grace and I am incredibly thankful for His grace and Your great mercy and patience. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.