Resting in God’s word
“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. Hebrews 4:7-12
God’s word is filled with promises and warnings. From the text, the writer of the Book of Hebrews reminded the readers that God’s promise of rest was hedged around one’s obedience to His will. Anyone that places their lives in God should find that they would not be able to live out their lives apart from knowing Him through His Word. This is why we are called upon to not harden our hearts that we will resist God’s teachings found from His word. It is through the preaching of His Word that we will realize our need of Him. “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14). The seed of God’s Word planted in the heart has the potential to grow. “For the Word of God is alive and powerful...” (Hebrews 4:12). God promised that His Word will not return void. God referring to His Word said, “I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:11). The author of the Book of Hebrews made a reference on what happened to the Israelites in the Old Testament. They wandered aimlessly for forty years in the wilderness because they will not take God in His word. Instead they continued in their sin and rebellion, disobedience and unbelief (see Hebrews 3:16-19). What is sad is that these characteristics manifested by people who claim were followers of God in the Old Testament were still demonstrated by men and women in our time hence the warning from God was still relevant. We cannot postpone putting off following God when God says “today...don’t harden your hearts.” The vivid image used to refer to the power of the word was very significant. God’s word when applied to life has dynamic influence. It brings new life to every situation we are confronted with. It drives home truth that can shatter false pretenses. It is a mirror that lets us see within and realize that we need to put things in order. When we let God’s word convict us through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be uncomfortable and troubled within. But once we take heed of the warning and obey God, we will find rest.
Noel De Guzman