to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 16, 2019 – Monday
Hebrews 4:1-3 NIV
1 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.
2 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.
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.’” (Psalm 95:11) And yet His works have been finished since the creation of the world.
Recall chapter three ended with the Verses of the Day for Friday: 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter His rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. So today we begin with Therefore, based upon these verses from chapter three.
Since the word rest is key to both Friday’s and today’s verses I would like to share what David Guzik provided as the five features of rest for the believer from the Puritan commentator John Owen
Rest means peace with God.
Rest means freedom from a servile, bondage-like spirit in the worship and service of God.
Rest means deliverance from the burden of Mosaic observance.
Rest means the freedom of worship according to the gospel.
Rest means the rest that God Himself enjoys.
How wonderful to know the promise of entering His rest still stands. Clearly that is something we want to be careful that none of us are found to have fallen short of it. But how does one fall short of obtaining His rest? We both heard or had the good news proclaimed to us so what happened? We read the message they heard was of no value to them and the message was the good news which they ignored because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. They lacked the faith to enter Canaan on faith while in the first century (and today) believers in Christ have the faith to follow and obey Him. Peter Pett sums this up by writing Essentially the ‘good news’ was the same, God’s offer of grace and mercy available in response to faith. Those who trusted Him would find life transformed for them in the sphere of future blessing.
Want your life transformed? Follow Jesus, trust in Him with your faith. Then receive God’s grace and mercy and the wonderful hope of the blessing of eternity in heaven with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and our Heavenly Father. These are things that are breathtaking as we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior who died for our sins – granting us the free gift of grace if we will but accept it in faith.
God knows our hearts and thus He knows if our faith is real or not. Question yourself and make sure your faith is real ensuring you have a future rest with God.
(to obey is better than sacrifice /obedience is better than sacrifice)
* To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)