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Hebrews 4:4

Sep 24, 2018   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), Hebrews, Hebrews (written), Writings  //  12 Comments

Monday, 24 September 2018

For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; Hebrews 4:4

Again as with both verses 4:2 and 4:3, the author begins with, “For.” One thought logically follows the next as he builds a case concerning the availability of God’s rest for his audience. The words, “For He has spoken in a certain place,” are the same formula found in verse 2:6. Instead of saying that Moses wrote the thought, he applies the utterance to God who is the inspiration behind the words of Moses. Thus, he says, “in a certain place.” More correctly, it should say, “somewhere.” The indefinite nature is a way of ascribing the writing of the whole body of the Hebrew Scriptures to God.

It is somewhere in this body of writing, given by God, that He has spoken “of the seventh day in this way.” He is equating God’s rest with the seventh day after creation. This is then supported by quoting the Scripture which says, “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” This is a quote from Genesis 2:2. God worked six days and then He rested on the seventh.

It is noticeable that each of the six days of creation was followed by a statement which said, “So the evening and the morning were the [nth] day.” However, no such statement is given for the seventh day. God rested, and that state of rest continues on. It is speaking of the work of creation itself which is given as a pattern of the dispensations of redemptive history. There are seven dispensations, the last being the millennium.

The millennium, then, forms its own picture of God’s place of rest. This was what Canaan was to be for those who were redeemed from Egypt, but they did not receive their rest because of unbelief. And so God, through the author of the psalm, set another day which He called, “Today” (verse 4:7). Those who believe Today enter God’s rest (verse 4:3) which has been anticipated since the creation of the world. But it must be remembered that chapter 3 spoke of the Hebrew people in the plural. The promise of rest was given to them. It is accessible individually, but it is also left for them collectively. The rest of God is provided not through works of the law, but through belief in what the law pointed to, Christ. Until Israel comes to this collective understanding, they will not enter God’s rest as a people. Until then, only those who believe individually have access to this rest.

God rested from His works, and yet God’s work of redemption occurs within the stream of time through the work of Jesus Christ. The seventh day after creation is God’s resting from His labors, and yet His labors continue on in the Person of Jesus in anticipation of a final day when God’s people will enter the place of God’s rest. Understanding this, we can then grasp what Jesus was speaking of in John 5 –

“For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.’

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.’” John 5:16-19

Christ’s works lead His people to the state of rest in His place of rest. This is seen in Isaiah 11:10 which speaks of the millennial reign of Christ. There, the word used is menukhah, the place (noun) of rest seen in Psalm 95, not shabat, or the state (verb) of rest found in Genesis 2 –

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:1

Everything centers on what God has done and continues to do in Christ Jesus. Entering into God’s rest comes by faith (belief) in God’s word as it points to Him.

Life application: The concept of God’s rest is being precisely stated by the author of Hebrews for the express purpose of getting his Hebrew audience to understand their need for Jesus, both individually and collectively. For any who believe in Christ Jesus (Jew or Gentile), they enter God’s rest; ceasing from their labors. For Israel as a whole, they will enter God’s rest when they have been refined and purified through the tribulation. Someday, they will collectively believe in Him, and they will enter into His promised rest, a rest which they have thus far failed to enter.

Gracious and merciful Lord God! We know that Your works have been finished from the foundation of the world, and that Your rest is available to us as a promise. The question is, “How do we enter that rest?” The answer comes back to us from the pages of Scripture as “Believe in the One whom You have sent.” Christ accomplished all that was necessary to grant us access into that wonderful place of rest. Thank You for what You have done through Him. We believe He did it all, and so we receive what You promise. Thank You for Jesus our Lord. Amen.

12 Comments

  • *the evening and the morning were the [nth] day.” However, no such statement is given for the seventh day. God rested, and that state of rest continues on

    *menukhah, the place (noun) of rest seen in Psalm 95, not shabat, or the state (verb) of rest found in Genesis 2 –

    *For any who believe in Christ Jesus (Jew or Gentile), they enter God’s rest; ceasing from their labors.

    Yes, Lord, thank you and praise You for the work you have done through your Son for us. May we be pleasing to You and be used by You as it is an honor to serve you and we love you! Amen!

  • Amen we will at any moment now be In Our promised rest with Jesus! My anticipation,excitement of the lords imminent return for us is ( sounds hokey) but I am giddy with excitement! The people out there in the oh me oh my when will he come group need to wake up and smell the flowers of victory through Jesus. I wake up more excited each day as I watch events unfold in this world proving beyond a shadow of a doubt God is in charge and Jesus is at the door Amen. I go to bed excited knowing this may be my last evening in this world and that I might wake up home with the lord. I can’t help but not look up and rejoice for our redemption draweth nigh Amen amen Amen thoses that are asleep and not watching for the lord or are sort of watching but doing more questioning and wondering at the timing of his coming for us do not realize how much joy and happiness they are missing right now. Do not doubt the lord do not question his timing but look around you and see all the signs that point to his imminent return for his bride! Amen.
    Praying for a quick recovery for Mary T and her elbow! Better yet replace the whole body with a new and incorruptible body(s) for all of us. Can’t wait for that 🙂

    We are another day closer to home

    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friend(s). We fly soon

  • I have read the book of Genesis many many times and I have never observed that there was no comment after the 7th day as there was after all the previous days of creation. Not to mention the significance of this. This is why I am so thankful to God for the S.W. and the teaching of Pastor Charlie. The difference between ‘shabat’ and ‘menukhah – the noun and the verb-makes the difference.
    Thank you.

    • Hallelujah! I’m so glad you are enjoying these. Did you ever get a package in the mail Ruth?

      • No I have not received any package yet.

        • hmmmm. I shall have to see if I can figure out what happened. Should have gotten to you some time ago.

  • Doesn’t sound hokey at all. Can’t wait for that day. And yes, we pray your elbow will be in top-notch soon. Just cannot be fun to have a broken elbow 🙁

  • Thank you Gordon! I’m in His Hands, God bless you!

  • Thank you too, Charlie! Surgery is a week from this Wed.

  • I can’t believe you have to wait that long. What a bummer. You shall be in my thoughts the whole time.

  • Bless you! Oh thank you, Charlie and all! And Charlie, I will strive diligently to be in your thoughts more than in your inbox! lol!!! As I will have a lot of time on my hands, it will be devoted to Bible study and physical therapy for my hip! Hallelujah!

  • BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS!

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