4:6). It is the message of salvation to which we are exhorted to give much more careful attention (2:1-4). If so, this is a strong argument against doing so. Because we assume that they are few and far between. This “rest” must be more than merely entering Canaan because Joshua did lead the second generation of Israelites into the Promised Land, and yet many years later the psalmist spoke of a rest that was still available, a greater rest. 4:11), Paul reminds his readers, who knew the story well, of God’s extravagant attempts to win the Israelites’ love and trust—the daily food He gave them, the pillar of fire and cloud as warmth and light by night and shade and protection by day, miraculous water from a rock, His own literal presence in the sanctuary. The first rest mentioned is the “rest” the first generation of Israelites failed to enter, namely entrance into the Promised Land and rest from its enemies (Hebrews 3:11). Yes, there remains a Sabbath for the people of God , a greater "rest" from attempting to please God based on our own merits (Heb. National elections are coming soon, and many are concerned (downright worried) about the outcome. God’s Word is a key ingredient in the Book of Hebrews (as we will point out in our next lesson), although it is referred to by means of several different expressions. In Hebrews 4, the author tells us about the Sabbath rest that is yet to come for the people of God. We are not that different from those ancient Israelites. Hebrews 4 is the key to the rest of Hebrews. 4 They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them” (Matthew 23:1-4). The sacrificial system on earth is finished, replaced by the perfect Sacrifice in Heaven. God’s creation was finished. There was no shocking moral failing there, no orgies, no blasphemy or idolatry. 4:10, Titus 3:5-6). So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. Instead, the Psalm he quotes refers to Massah and Meribah, where Israel demanded water from God (Ps. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. Perhaps the ambiguity is deliberate, so that both meanings apply. His humiliation and exaltation is God’s provision for man’s redemption and restoration. (NJB) Hebrews 4:5 relates it to the (final) resting "place" as well: And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest. They are eventually captured, and are set free by the forces of the good king. 3 With the exception of Joshua and Caleb. Who will rescue me from this body of death? “God’s works have been finished since the creation of the world.” (Heb. 10 For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works (Hebrews 4:1-10).2, When I was in college, I worked on the night maintenance crew. Jesus is our rest from works now, just as He is the door to heaven, where we will rest in Him forever. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. Even more, torn between the familiar beliefs and rituals they had cherished since childhood, and their staunch conviction regarding newly-discovered truth, the internal conflict must have been agonizing. 14 You are the light of the world. Second, rest appears to be a day-by-day, “one day at a time” experience. Whatever was “today” in Psalm 95 is still “today” today. God’s Word is the Father’s full and final revelation through the Son, the crowning conclusion to previous revelations through the prophets (1:1-4). 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). Chapter 2 begins with an exhortation to pay even more careful attention to the revelation which has come through the Son. 24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. “Do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert” (Hebrews 3:8, NIV, emphasis mine). 26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 3:8). Just as the psalmist could seize upon the term “today” and apply it to his readers, so God has fixed a “today” for us, the same “today” as was offered in the psalms. 4:7). It is this rest into which the ancient Israelites failed to enter, for “My rest” is God’s rest, God’s Sabbath rest. We should pray that we don’t have to flee on a Sabbath (Matthew 24:20). It will resemble the rest of the sabbath, both in its employments and enjoyments. Fourth, this generation failed for forty years. 13 But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception (Hebrews 3:12-13). The author is not interested in a day of the week — he is concerned about how people respond to Jesus. Israel’s unbelief and disobedience was in spite of God’s Word revealed to and through Moses, which was confirmed by the many miracles associated with the exodus from Egypt (3:7-19). There are foam mattresses with a memory (probably better than mine) and a plethora of others. So God again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! They believe they are still captive in a dark and filthy stable. The NET Bible provides us with the most literal translation of verse 8. The prison in their minds—a prison of distrust of the One trying to help them and refusal to depend on anyone outside themselves—was so strong they could not break free. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. When the writer to the Hebrews cites from Psalm 95:7, he calls attention to the word “today.” He makes the point that while the “rest” that the first generation of Israelites failed to enter was dwelling in peace in the Promised Land, there was still a “rest” being offered in Psalm 95. Have you entered that “rest,” my friend? The warning was against failing to enter God’s rest, due to unbelief, hardness of heart, and disobedience. Sixth, God was angry with this generation, and this resulted in their death in the wilderness (which is exactly what they asked for – Numbers 14:2), and thus their failure to enter into rest. But they cannot recognize they are free. So, having reviewed the argument of Hebrews 1-4, and having noted the terms and concepts foundational to this argument, let us briefly trace the author’s argument in the first ten verses of chapter 4. Then there is the “rest” which is available for the readers of Psalm 95. As I write this message (a little while after having preached it), the stock market has taken a serious downward turn. It still lies ahead. And they raised golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said ‘Ugh! It is not something that we believe for the moment, but rather something we believe and lay hold of day after day. in 1971. Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection will be able to use and print out the NET Bible without cost for personal study. We can and should rest in the knowledge that it is God who raises up kings and who puts them down. And so as we come to chapter 4, we find that it is tightly related to chapter 3. It is these repeated words and phrases which provide us with the key to understanding the author’s meaning of “rest.” Chapter 4 will conclude with an exhortation to strive to enter “God’s rest,” with an emphasis on the Word of God (verses 12-13) and on the high priestly ministry of our Savior (verses 14-16). Israel’s unbelief and disobedience was a persistent practice. But the word translated “rest” in Hebrews 4:9 Hebrews 4:9There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.American … Not only water and trees and fruit-bearing plants and animals as companions and helpers, but, even more crucial, a plan to save them from themselves. They also identified with the older generation by repeating their sins. “But when at last they sat down to nurse their black eyes and their bleeding noses, they all said: ‘Well, at any rate there’s no Humbug here. (verse 11) Verse 9 states: But God has promised us a Sabbath when we will rest, even though it has not yet come. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; “Today” thus calls attention to at least of couple of applications. Have you ceased from fruitless efforts to win God’s favor? Verses 7-19 of chapter 3 continue to show the Son’s superiority to Moses, but in a more subtle way than verses 1-6. 53 You received the law by decrees given by angels, but you did not obey it” (Acts 7:51-53, emphasis mine). What does the Bible say to the church, and to the individual Christian, about the role of politics in the church? We come to Christ, and he gives us rest. How could one ever please God by the works of the law? We will look more carefully at these terms in a moment. Hebrews 4 looks both backward and forward—backward to Creation and forward to the final Sabbath rest. Fancy drinking dirty water out of a trough that a donkey’s been at! 12:22). 2 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the NET Bible. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you (Romans 7:25-8:11). Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. We cleaned the student union center from midnight Friday night to 8 a.m. Saturday morning. 17; Heb. A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). It was to these people that Hebrews was written. We are urged not to be like Israel—or like the dwarfs. But when 99.9999% of that generation failed, then the danger must be great indeed. The fault was not in the doctrines or the rituals, which were ordained by God. The “rest” into which we enter is God’s rest, God’s Sabbath rest, such as we find in Genesis 2:2 – the rest God entered after He had finished His work of creation. The ancient Israelites, even though they had the Sabbath, did not enter the rest he is talking about. 9 Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. We have seen indications of more than one “rest” in chapter 3. 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 (ESV, emphasis mine). In giving them the land of Canaan, God had promised them that He would go before them and defeat all their enemies in order that they could live securely (Deuteronomy 12:9–10). This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 9 in the series, Near to the Heart of God – A Study of the Book of Hebrews, prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on September 7, 2008. 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