One of the most important passages in the Bible on rest comes in Hebrews. Quoting from the Zabur (Psalm 95:7-11), we read, “7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.” 11 As I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest”’” (Hebrews 3:7-11).
They did not enter God’s rest because they did not know God’s ways. They were disobedient. They did not believe. Later in the chapter we read, “And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18-19).
God, then says, in his Word:
4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:1-11)
The key to this rest is that it is a rest from work. It is human nature to try and work our way to God. We seek to do good things so that God will love us and accept us. But the Word of God tells us that it is not by works that we enter God’s rest it is by faith. The message we hear must be united by faith. We strive to enter this rest by faith not by working harder.
These are the things I pray for our son Noah. We pray that he will enter God’s rest and that he will rely on God through the Messiah, for it is God who gives rest not us.
The Prophet Noah
Rest: The Meaning of Noah – Part 1
Rest: The Meaning of Noah – Part 2
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