Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 4

Godís rest

Hebrews 4:1

The author of Hebrews has been writing about the people whom Moses led. They could not enter Godís Ďrestí because of their unbelief. Initially, that seems to mean that they could not enter Canaan (Deuteronomy 1:34-35). Canaan was the country that God had promised for their nation.

But now the author will show us that Canaan is not the only meaning of Godís Ďrestí. In fact, it cannot even be the main meaning. In Psalm 95:11, the Holy Spirit spoke by means of David. He warned the people that they could lose their opportunity to enter Godís Ďrestí. But David wrote when Godís people were already living in Canaan. So the meaning must be something different.

And now the author of Hebrews warns us too. We too have a promise that we may enter Godís Ďrestí. And we must be careful that we do not lose it.

The author does not tell us where we will find that promise. But we can find such a promise in Matthew 11:28-29. Jesus promises rest to the people who come to him. Their work has been so hard, and other masters have been very cruel to them. But they should accept Jesus as their new master, and they should obey him. He promises to be gentle, and to give them rest.

God also promised rest to Moses in Exodus 33:14. God declared that he would be present with Moses. God would not give Moses responsibilities that were too difficult for him. But because God was present with him, God would give Moses rest.

From those passages, we can see what Godís Ďrestí means. God wants to be present with his people. He wants them to obey him. But he does not want them to struggle like people whose work is too hard. He is not a cruel master. He has given many promises to his people. And he will provide for them, if only they will continue to trust him (Matthew 6:25-34). Other masters may be cruel. But God gives rest to his people (Psalm 23).

Next part: The same gospel (Hebrews 4:2)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.