Hebrews 4: 8-13…Thought provoking ideas about rest.

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Comment: The author’s thinking takes a bit of sorting out, at least for me. It is, however a good argument.

  • Joshua got the people eventually into the promised land, but the rest they got by being there was not like the rest which God took on the Seventh day of Creation week , as described in Genesis. They still had a lot of physical work to do both in conquering the land and working away at obeying the law.
  • The promised rest is to stop having to work at being good enough to please God! Living ‘in Jesus’ is that rest because no longer in Him do we have to work to be acceptable to God. He calls us brothers, the Father calls us His children, if we are trusting Jesus.
  • God knows us so well that we cannot fool Him. The understanding of God is likened to a sword which can dissect out any part of the body, so that we are as if naked and God can see every bit of us, inside and out.
  • The use of the word ‘strive’ is interesting. The gospel ‘Good News’ of Jesus is that God is willing to forgive and receive us but it is not a ‘laissez-faire’ deal. Committing to Jesus is a commitment of obedience, so the author says ‘get with it, so that you don’t fail to keep up your end of the deal’. We are to live and act like the Children of God, if we are indeed His children.
  • We rest from striving for acceptance, we obey now as His children. His children in a very special sense.

Prayer: Help me to understand the author’s argument, please.

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