God’s Faithful Word of Hope
Hebrews 4:1-13: The author continues to describe God’s promised rest and recounts that those “who first heard the Good News did not receive that rest, because they did not believe” (verse 6). Verses 1-3 affirm that those who accept the Good News will be recipients of God’s promised rest. Verse 3 concludes with the author quoting from Psalm 95:11, which is also quoted again in verse 5.
Today's Scripture: Hebrews 4:13a
There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes.
1Now, God has offered us the promise that we may receive that rest he spoke about. Let us take care, then, that none of you will be found to have failed to receive that promised rest.2For we have heard the Good News, just as they did. They heard the message, but it did them no good, because when they heard it, they did not accept it with faith.3 We who believe, then, do receive that rest which God promised. It is just as he said,
“I was angry and made a solemn promise:
‘They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!’”
He said this even though his work had been finished from the time he created the world.4 For somewhere in the Scriptures this is said about the seventh day: “God rested on the seventh day from all his work.”5 This same matter is spoken of again: “They will never enter that land where I would have given them rest.”6Those who first heard the Good News did not receive that rest, because they did not believe. There are, then, others who are allowed to receive it.7 This is shown by the fact that God sets another day, which is called “Today.” Many years later he spoke of it through David in the scripture already quoted:
“If you hear God's voice today,
do not be stubborn.”
8 If Joshua had given the people the rest that God had promised, God would not have spoken later about another day.9As it is, however, there still remains for God's people a rest like God's resting on the seventh day.10 For those who receive that rest which God promised will rest from their own work, just as God rested from his.11Let us, then, do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail as they did because of their lack of faith.
12The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.13 There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves.
The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week and commemorates the day that God rested after finishing the work of creation (Genesis 2:2, 3). Sabbath means “rest” or “stop working” and resting on the Sabbath became an important way for Jewish people to honor God (Exodus 20:8-11). How is the new day of rest compared to the Jewish Sabbath (verses 9, 10)? What warning is given in verse 11? How do you envision God’s promised rest? In what ways do you observe a day of rest?
Gracious and loving God, thank you for your promised rest. In faith, I accept the Good News of your love and salvation. Amen.
Those observing a day of rest
Hebrews 4:14—5:10: Jesus is our great High Priest.