Hebrews 4:1-13 The Message
Hebrews 4:1-2 NLT
Hebrews 4:3-7 The Message
Hebrews 4:8-11 The Message
Hebrews 4:12-13 The Message
Thoughts on Scripture and Life
As we wrap up thoughts on scripture and life, we consider how we best interact with God.
How do we share our heart of hearts with God?
How do we hear God?
It’s been my experience that I hear other people better…I really hear from their heart when I slow down and listen well.
The same is true of God. When I rest my heart and mind as I sit with God, I can hear the heart of God.
Hebrews 4:1-2 tells us, “God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.”
The Message tells us in Hebrews 4:1-3, “For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never be able to sit down and rest.”
Do you remember the children of God in the wilderness? They received the same promise we have received but they didn’t believe it. Even when they saw the fire of God on the mountain they remained distracted by their own thoughts. They thought of the world they had known in Egypt.
The best description might be the one Cecile B. DeMille gave us in the classic movie, “The Ten Commandments”. When the children of Israel threw a party at the foot of the mountain they were only thinking of their own pleasure. They were unable to stop the glamour of the “party” in their heads long enough to listen and rest in God. Because they didn’t believe their real answer to abundant life came from listening to God, they missed the point.
Only a select few people on Mt. Sinai took time to rest in God and listen…
As a result the children of Israel spent forty years wandering in the wilderness so they would learn that much needed lesson.
Continuing with Hebrews 4:3-7 from The Message, “God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,” but in this other text he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen, don’t turn a deaf ear.”
Listen. Listen. Just listen.
God continued…continues today with the same promise.
We read in Hebrews 4:8-11, “And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.” The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.”
The writer of Hebrews urges us to move beyond what we see in the world. God gives us faith but we have to rest and open our hands to receive it.
Hear God’s Word…
Hebrews 4:12-13 says, “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one can resist God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.”
God’s Word is sharper than any sword.
God’s Word can cut through anything and everything.
God’s Word can move us beyond doubt and CAN defend.
God’s Word can even give us every tool we need so we can hear truth…but we have to stop long enough to listen.
If we stop and if we rest and listen, God’s Word will show us and teach us all that is hidden from the human mind.
Rest from the world.
Rest in God so you can hear God’s Word.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Rest
Take time to rest in God. Stop the crazy of the world in your head long enough to hear God.
In God, Deborah