Hebrews 4:5

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

…and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” Hebrews 4:5

Here we have a repetition from verse 4:3. God had rested (verb) on the seventh day, and yet the Psalmist said that the Hebrews of Moses’ time did not enter God’s rest (noun) because of unbelief. A place of rest was promised to the Hebrew people, but those with Moses did not enter into that place, and therefore it logically follows that some must still enter it (as verse 4:6 will explicitly state).

God rested from His works of creation on the seventh day. This implies that everything in creation has been completed; there is nothing else to create. If there is a place of rest within that creation as is clearly the case, and that place of rest is promised to the Hebrew people, then it logically follows that it is still awaiting them.

We are not to forget, however, that any who have believed do enter that rest (verse 4:3). This is true whether it is a Jew or a Gentile that believes in the finished work of Christ. We have attained what God has promised. But the promise to Israel collectively has not yet been attained. Until they, as a people, believe in the completed work of Messiah, they will not enter that place of rest. But it will happen. The prophecies of the Bible show it is coming. It didn’t happen at the time of Moses, meaning those under the law, but it will happen in Christ Jesus.

Life application: The repetition of the verses in Hebrews is given for precision of thought. A place of rest exists for the people of God. As God finished His works of creation and then rested, the place which is being spoken of was there in the creation at that time. It is a place intended for occupants to enter. Who will enter it? Those who have faith in His works, meaning that which is accomplished by Messiah within the stream of time which came at creation. Through faith in Him, that place of rest is granted. Believe in Christ, and enter God’s rest.

Lord, how faithful You are to Your promises! Though it may not be pleasant, why should we worry when things are difficult or filled with trial? These cannot take away the surety of the good things which lie ahead, and which You have promised, for those who trust in You. And so may we be joyful in our hope even if troubled in the here and now. Because of Jesus, only goodness and blessing is coming. Thank You that we are assured of this. Amen.

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