Today… a Day of Rest

Today is a day of rest. What is rest to you? Rest from physical work? How about emotional and mental? Are you at rest? If yes, how rested? If no, why not? The Bible speaks of a different kind of rest. Is it about Sunday only?

Hebrews 4

1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.

What therefore? What promise? The promise of entering His rest.. What rest? Read Hebrews 3:12-19. God promised the Israelites that they would go into Canaan – a land flowing with milk and honey… a land of rest. They were slaves in Egypt. God sent Moses to liberate them from hard labor. Yet, they disobeyed God. They did not believe God’s promise so they did not enter the promised land.

2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

The good news is that we can have rest. We are not rested because we do not believe God’s promise (v.2). We disobey God (v. 6). For we who believe, enter that rest (v.3). What is ‘that’ rest? God said

“As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”

What is God’s rest? Rest from works when He created the world (v.3b-4).

although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,

“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

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What rest does He want for us? What did He mean ‘They shall not enter My rest’? Was it past like His works? Was it about the Israelites who disobeyed and failed to enter the land of rest? It is about ‘Today’ (v.7).  David wrote of this in Psalm 95. What is Psalm 95 about? It is a psalm of praise and worship. vv.1-6 speak words of praise and describe acts of worship. v. 7 speaks of a relationship – between God and his people, we are his people. He is our shepherd and we are sheep of his pasture. His pasture is a picture of rest. The sheep, obedient to the shepherd gets to rest in his pasture.

When is that rest possible? Today is the day of rest. Today is the day not to harden our hearts. To harden our hearts is to disobey God (v. 6,11).

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

God’s day of rest is not only on Sundays. God’s Sabbath rest is about rest from works in obedience to what He says. To enter God’s rest is to do as God does. To obey what He says. How do we know what He says? We read the Bible. The Bible is the word of God.

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God’s word is our guide to restful living. To obey God’s word is the path to peace and rest. Stop struggling. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Today is a day of rest. Enter His rest.

Sheep

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