For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day:
“On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”
But in the other passage God said,
“They will never enter my place of rest.” So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:
“Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”
Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Dear God, I was listening to a podcast today that covered some interesting topics. I think what is coming to mind now after reading this passage from Hebrews is my motivations. Why do I do what I do in life? Why am I the husband, father, employee, supervisor, church member, community member, etc. that I am? What is my “why?”
The podcast used an example of being at a Christian conference and the speaker was talking about Nehemiah and how the people followed him because he was a servant leader. He had the moral high ground, so they followed him. The person on the podcast, however, said that the speaker had it wrong. The speaker was saying that the Nehemiah’s motivation to get the people to respect him and follow him. The man on the podcast pointed out that the passage stated specifically that he was a servant leader because he feared you. Others following him was a byproduct of his obedience to you.
So what’s my motivation now? Fear of you. Knowing I need you for peace (and maybe rest). I’ve drifted from you the last few days. I’ve felt it. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed the connection. I’ve missed the peace. I’ve missed the rest. Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for guiding me. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take a seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.
In Jesus’s name I pray,