to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 18, 2019 – Wednesday
Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His.
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
Continuing from yesterday, we see one more example of how we should not follow the example of disobedience by those without the faith to follow God. Look how verse nine reads, There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. For whom? [T]he people of God! And what is this rest? This is a spiritual rest that follows the model of the rest provided for Israel through Joshua.
David Guzik’s commentary adds The second Joshua will finish what the first Joshua left unfinished. Jesus is greater than both Moses and the second Joshua. This rest is in a person – in Jesus Christ, more than in doctrines and ideas. Let verse eleven follow Guzik’s comments and we have Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. This is where the writer’s concern for his readers is twofold. First to make sure they have entered into their rest with Jesus and second to ensure that they fully enter into it instead of ending up disobedient as the Israelites were. It is necessary for each person to ensure they have entered into the rest of Jesus and fully/completely enter into it, and continue to experience it by finding their rest in Christ and keeping His yoke on them and learning of Him
I really like how Peter Pett asked [I]f the ‘rest’ is the rest of salvation and of partaking in Christ, how can those who have already been saved enter into it? And then answers the question stating The rest is the sphere of salvation, the resultant position of receiving salvation in Christ, the sphere of partaking in Christ, to be enjoyed continually by faith. Then Jesus addresses this as well stating 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 11:29. This is how they avoided and we avoid falling into disobedience, walking in faith with Jesus daily.
It is all about our hearts, what we really believe, what faith we really have and the final verses of this section makes this very clear by saying
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
It is the condition of our hearts that determines if we will enter His rest. Did we truly accept His free Gift of Grace and take up Jesus’ yoke and follow Him? The answer to that question has eternal consequences. Let us endeavor to have truly accepted His free Gift of Grace and all that the acceptance brings about.
(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)