Hebrews 4:1 “…since a promise remains of entering His rest…”
The writer sees the logic of what isn’t said directly. If God said some of them wouldn’t enter His rest, obviously there is a rest and some do enter it.
1 “…lest any of you seem to have come short of it”
That’s the issue. There is a rest and a danger of not getting there because of unbelief.
2 “…gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith…”
Everyone receives the word, but only those who respond with faith can enter the rest, can be saved.
3 “…we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest…'””
A little convoluted here as he’s working on what is said and implied. We know we who have believed do enter the rest because He said of those who didn’t believe, they shall not enter My rest.
3 “…the works were finished from the foundation of the world”
God completed the work of rest from the beginning. All that remains was for us to believe Him.
7 “again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.””
The wandering in the wilderness came to an end, and those who didn’t believe perished. But as He speaks through David saying Today you need to do this or that, believe, obviously there is another rest beyond the physical Promised Land.
9-10 “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
Good summation. Another rest exists, that of salvation and a home with Christ in Heaven forever. Once we enter that rest, all work, striving, dealing with sin, pain, sickness, sorrow, and death will be over, will have ceased as God ceased from His labor on the seventh day.
11-12 “Let us therefore be diligent…For the word of God…”
Verses 12 and 13 seemed a bit out of place from the flow of the text. He’d been speaking of the rest of God and making sure we enter that rest by not being disobedient. Now he says to be diligent to do what you need to do to enter the rest, then starts talking about the word of God. All the info is good and true in itself, but the context was a bit difficult for me to pick up quickly. Checked with commentaries. The idea is, be sure you’re being diligent, not disobedient, because the word of God can see into your heart and determine whether you’re true with your belief or not. And as 13 says, nothing is hidden from Him. Seems simple once you see it, but the English phrasing was a bit choppy. I think part of my problem was that I had chosen verse 12 as one to commit to memory long ago, and as such, I see it standing by itself instead of being part of a flow. That’s why it’s so important to get the flow of the context to understand what is being said. The words can sometimes stand on their own with good and true teaching to make certain points, but the greater meaning will come through the context.
15 “…we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”
Jesus can understand what we go through because He is one of us. He was tempted as we are, but He didn’t sin by giving in to the temptations. Being tempted isn’t a sin. It’s only when we give into it and do something against God that we sin. And as the Word says, He will provide a way out of the temptation if we will take it.
16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus paid for our access to God. When He died, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, symbolically showing that in reality, the separation between us and God was removed. We shouldn’t shy away from coming to God, even when we’ve done wrong. We should come boldly as is now our place, so we can find mercy and grace to help and cleanse us. It’s not because of our worthiness, but because of His love for us, and the fact that He’s paid the price.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.