to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 17, 2019 – Tuesday
Hebrews 4:4-7a NIV
4 For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all His works.” (Genesis 2:2)
5 And again in the passage above He says, “They shall never enter My rest.”
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience,
7a God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.”
Yesterday, Monday, we looked at the first three verses of this chapter where the subject was those who would not share in God’s rest because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. The verses today tell us they will not enter His rest because even though they had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience.
The original offer to enter into His rest referred to the good news of Canaan. But because of disobedience they failed to enter into it, even though the offer was made clear to them. And the reason that they failed was because they did not believe, they did have the faith of the few who did believe. In fact, only two of those who looked upon Canaan believed they could take the land God had promised them – Caleb and Joshua – and they were not believed by the people of Israel. So there was forty years of wandering until the last of the doubters died.
To understand God’s setting of a certain day, calling it “Today” let’s look at it in context: 6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This He did when a long time later He spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Psalm 95:7,8) 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. For clarity it will help to remember
‘Jesus’ is the Greek for the Hebrew ‘Joshua’ and the original Joshua in the Old Testament could not give them the rest the Joshua – Jesus – of the New Testament could provide. Jesus directly addressed this saying:
28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11)
King David also wrote in Psalms of how Today would continue into the future, into his time and even into our own time:
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. (Psalm 16:9)
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. (Psalm 116:7)
This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
David could write about it, but only Jesus could truly give us rest a rest Joshua could not offer or fulfill. Thus we have David’s “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Psalm 95:7,8. Guzik makes the following point: This rest is in a person – in Jesus Christ, more than in doctrines and ideas. If you meet a troubled, crying child and try to comfort them and give them rest using ideas and logic, it won’t do much good. But when mommy comes, the child is happy again.
Did you make the choice to rest in the free Gift of Grace offered through Jesus the Christ? Did you acknowledge His payment on the cross for your sins and repent of them, accepting Him as Lord and Savior? If you did then you rest in His gift of salvation.
(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)