Hebrews 4 - Rest From Our Works

Hebrews 4:1 - "Therefore ... " Again, I'm prompted to look back and see what this 'therefore' refers to. The Israelites lost the opportunity to enter His rest because of their unbelief. That possibility exists for us, but as long as we have breath in our lungs, the promise is still there. The writer here says as long as that promise stands, "let us fear". Fear what? Fear the one who can revoke that promise.

Hebrews 4:10 - "for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his." I think we, or at least I do, think of this rest as Heaven to come, a time of no tears, no pain, no sorrow. However, this struck me differently. When we fall on our knees before God, acknowledging our sinfulness and inadequacy, and he takes us in, we then and there enter rest from our works. No longer do we work for justification, validation, sanctification and acceptance. We are all of these and more through him who came and died, and we can now, finally, rest from those fruitless and futile works.

Note, he doesn't say we rest from 'work' but from 'works'. Notice also, in the promises of heaven, we are not promised freedom from work, only pain, tears and death.

Hebrews 4:11 - There's a little bit of irony here in the writer calling us to 'strive' to enter that rest. It's a fact of man's existence that letting go of our need to justify ourselves rather than rest in His justification is an ongoing battle. We are drawn to make something of ourselves rather than letting God make us into something of His own. So we strive to rest from our works.

Hebrews 4:14-16 - Read through this, and savor each and every word and see if it does not move you:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Related Entries

Monthly Archives