October 11 - Hebrews 4:6-11. Rest = Peace.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11 - Hebrews 4:6-11. Rest = Peace.

Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: 

         “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”  

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

Joshua 21:43-44 says of the Israelites that Joshua took into the Promised Land, “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.  The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers.”

Rest = peace.  God promised that his children wouldn’t have to put up with wars and unrest.

It occurs to me that the author of Hebrews really wants us to understand the difference between lives without God and the rest that comes from being close to God.

There was a period of my life when I went like a house afire nearly every day of the week.  I’d be at work before 8, some evening I would get to have dinner at home, but most of the time I was in my car grabbing something to eat on the way to church and a series of activities that got me home by about 11 that night.  I’d stay up until ridiculous early morning hours trying to gain some sanity after the day, crash for a few hours and then start the day all over again.

I didn’t know what the word ‘rest’ meant.  I look back on those days and the books I was reading were all about trying to find peace, looking for rest, searching for a way to have a good prayer life with God.  I was spinning out of control.  There was no rest.  In fact, there were times that I looked so forward to eternal rest, I just prayed for Jesus to return immediately! (Now, I simply pray for Him to return in His own time … I figure that is probably a lot healthier.)

Rest isn’t something we should take for granted, whether it is resting from work and the activities of our life or resting in God – taking time to build our relationship with Him. God promised a time of rest – a time without wars and unrest.  But, there is a bit of a caveat, as the author of Hebrews tells us.  We actually have to live in relationship with God, we can’t harden our hearts to him, we can’t turn away from him.