Hebrews 4 (2)
We need to make sure we understand what God has in store for us. His rest awaits all who believe. But why should we want to enter His rest?
Meditate on Genesis 1.31-2.3.
Read Hebrews 4.3-6.
Think it through.
1. What comes to mind when you think of “rest”? Do you have a favorite place for resting? A favorite activity? What benefits do you enjoy from resting? God rested into a situation described as very good (Gen. 1.31). What was very good about the creation at the end of day 6? How many different aspects of goodness can you identify? In what ways did this very good condition reflect God? In verse 6, the land of promise is referred to as a type of God’s rest. In what ways?
2. God’s rest is contrasted with His working. God ceased from His original work of creating and entered into rest. God is still working, as Jesus explained (Jn. 5.17); however, He has entered into His rest. How do resting and working go together with God? To enter God’s rest, we must meet a certain condition (v. 3). What is that condition? How does this relate to the idea of resting from work, but working in our rest? How can working still be a form of rest? Why does the writer keep repeating Psalm 95.11 (v. 3, see Heb. 2.11, 18)? Is entering God’s rest important? Explain.
“He says that there are ‘three’ rests: one, that of the sabbath, in which God rested from works; the second, that of Palestine, in which, when the Jews had entered, they would be at rest from their hardships and labors; the third, that which is rest indeed, the kingdom of heaven, where those who obtain it do indeed rest from their labors and troubles.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11.28, 29
Lord, I’m so busy, so distracted, and so burdened by many things, that I fail to know Your rest as much as I should. Show me how to …
Pray Psalm 84.1-7.
What is your Valley of Tears (Baca)? How can you find rest, even in times of trial and setback? Ask God to make your tears of sorrow into springs of joy.
Psalm 84.1-7 (Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
Lord of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling;
How my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling
Of Your grace forever more.
Like a bird upon the altar
Let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter
As they praise Your grace with song!
Blessed are they whose strength is founded
In Your strength, O Lord above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded
Journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness,
Grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your presence, filled with gladness,
They shall conquer all their pain.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.